A terror at my heart did prey;
And clutched at every thought of mine
Till a cold, weird feeling chilled the day
Both box and baggage to be unpacked,
And baby needing so much care.
But, still that strangeness grew and grew,
Where e'er I turned it crouched near.
Later, while hurrying with my work,
I passed a window and chanced to see,
A swaying mass of beauty rare,
A graceful weeping willow tree.
I stopped and gazed entranced--when lo!
I felt my panic disappear,
As I listened to the rippling fronds,
I heard, "I'm so glad to have you here!"
With conscience smitten, I bowed my head
I had misjudged this adopted land;
I knew that here I'd find hope and love,
And those who'd lend a helping hand.
Then, as I turned, my baby smiled,
And sunshine tiptoed to each nook;
Why had I climbed the stair with dread,
Approached each room with fearful look?
Now, when homesick, aching comes,
To draw me back o'er vale and lea,
Too native land and those I love,
I tell it to my willow tree.
With arms outstretched it seems to say,
"Learn to be happy where you are,
Accept the blessings God has given,
And others' burdens help to bear."
Oh, may I learn this lesson well,
Where ever in this world I roam;
To first look for a willow tree
Then, without fear to build a home,
I pray that God will bless that home
And lead me where he'd have me go.
And when my burdens are hard to bear,
God and my willow tree will know.
©circa 1945 Linnie Jane Joslin Burks