Volunteers in the Willows
The rain is trickling down the small of our backs, our bodies still warming from the tea. “Twenty five to go!” harks the cry from within the group, in an almost victorious tone. Bending the thin strips of willow down, intertwining them with last week’s work (and the week before’s), it’s fair taking shape. As the hiss of the fire slowly becomes less frequent, the small droplets falling on the fire, the last few go in place, and as the pitter-patter of rain starts to become more frequent and slightly heavier, not an eyelid is batted…no one seems to notice, or care.
That’s it, done. “Doesn’t look like much just now.” “Will it even grow?” It will, in fact it’s already started. Gently pulling on previous weeks’ strips of willow, it’s solid, it’s already started rooting and as we look closer we can see small buds appearing, small petite green buds fluttering up through the branches. It’s not just pretty to look at, some caterpillars have already been enjoying the green delicacy of our work. They’ll soon grow into beautiful butterflies and in turn feed on the flowers opposite us, and finally some (but not all) will feed the birds ominously flying overhead. All this from a few guys planting willow, not bad eh!
We all think there’s nothing we can do, the job’s too big, “what CAN I do???” We don’t need to do much individually but as a group we can provide and give back so much to the place we and so many other things call home.