The Tree that Won’t Drop its Leaves

whomping willow

There’s a tree in my neighborhood that refuses to drop its leaves. It is quite large and gnarled with long branches that remind me during a windstorm of the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter. Its leaves look brown and crispy, but they still cling like mad to most of the branches.

When I first noticed this tree a couple of years ago, I was afraid that it had died. Here in Seattle, we have a lot of evergreens to look at during the winter, but all the other deciduous trees had given up their leaves, and the plum trees had already turned pink. Spring was upon us, and this tree was clinging to the fall!

Then, one day, I noticed that the leaves were finally gone. Maybe a big wind had helped them to the ground? The funny thing was that this tree was the first one in the neighborhood to turn green again! Its new leaves acted like they couldn’t wait to come out, like they had literally pushed the old ones to the ground to make room for their bright green new leaves of spring.

I’ve been thinking about this tree and how my life is sometimes like that. I cling to the past, whether it is old video tapes in a closet that I can no longer watch because we don’t have a working VCR in the house. Recently, a leak in the attic got us frantically clearing out those old videos so that we could make room for a ladder and a new, improved situation above our living room ceiling!

Do you ever need a push like that? Sometimes, I think God lets storms into our lives in order to make room for His new plan for us. Foolishly clinging to the old–stuff, attitudes, bad habits–it’s hard to imagine that there could be something new and bright just behind it, trying to break free.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things (Psalm 98:1).

 Image credit: Thanks!


For friends new to this blog, “Wednesday’s Word” is a weekly Bible audio clip that rotates between Genesis, Luke and Psalms. Occasionally, I post “Wednesday’s Word to the Free,” a short Bible passage on what it means to be free. Freedom is a very big concern to Timley Mouse, the tiniest character in my upcoming novel, Bon Voyage, Sophie Topfeather!

On Sundays, I post an article-type post on themes in the novels: faith, friendship, diversity, etc.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to send to someone else who might enjoy posts like this one.


About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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1 Response to The Tree that Won’t Drop its Leaves

  1. Debbie Austin says:

    A few years ago, I watched a tree like this outside a Starbucks I used to frequent while my son attended band practice at church. Each week I thought the next week those leaves would be gone, but they clung on and on. I like your analogy to holding on to old habits and stuff. It can be scary to let go, but when we finally do, we’re free to experience the new. Thanks, Sonja!

    Liked by 1 person

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