melissa hirshburg profile

artist + writer

sharing gentleness, faith and artful inspiration


The Willow; High in the Sky or Hanging Heavy

The Willow; High in the Sky or Hanging Heavy

It is easy to become besotted with a willow. The Rapunzel of the plant world, this tree appears as a graceful princess bowed down by her lush tresses, waiting on the riverbank for someone just like you to come along and keep her company.
— Lab Girl

The willow tree has always been a favorite of mine. We've never had one though. The unfortunate rotten-fish-smelling bradford pear was the reoccurring plant of my childhood, planted right in the center of our front yard and all around Tulsa. The top heavy tree could be counted on to split apart in the spring when tornadoes or storms blew through. But every summer at my grandma's lake cottage in Indiana sitting on the edge of the white wooden pier with my feet in the water I enjoyed the view of the wistful whimsy willow. The pier looked out to the open lake, calm in the mornings, buzzing with boats in the afternoon. To the right was a shady patch of lily-pads and the willow tree, which was eventually and to my disappointment cut down. 

At night from the same pier we watched fireworks in the sky. My favorite kind also resembles the willow tree. It's all booming blunt explosive bursts, but the willow-looking-fireworks cascade down the sky in soft gentle streams of shimmer.

The willow tree and the fireworks that resemble them are both beautiful and comforting to me; they remind me of the essence of the following scriptures; 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
— Psalms 34:18
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
— Matthew 5:3
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
— Isaiah 61:3

The willow reminds me that we can come as we are to God; which is sometimes with a heavy heart, and we will find Him understanding and kind. Also, He is the glory and the lifter of our head. We can come to Him, and wait for the lightness of His love to lift our heaviness. Wait for some shimmering streams of light to cascade down the dark summer sky and make our hearts sigh.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
— Psalms 3:3
Weekend Care Package

Weekend Care Package

Midsummer; We Sigh & Celebrate

Midsummer; We Sigh & Celebrate