Rooting Willow Whips

“Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭

I’m working on my living arches.

Last year, a friend introduced me to the idea of ‘living fences’. I was intrigued. I researched. I planned.

Then I went willow hunting.

Willows have amazing properties. They root very easily. They are chuck full of a compound called indolebutyric acid that promotes rooting. In fact, after I soak my willow whips, I use the willow water on the rest of my seedlings to stimulate root growth.

If you cut off a willow branch, pound a deep hole for it, insert the branch and water – well, there you have it.

A new willow tree.

But this method won’t work for just any old tree. It has to be a member of the Salix family – which includes willows and dogwoods – something containing the rooting compound, with a strong will to grow wherever it is planted. If I stuck a bit of ash or elm in the ground somewhere, no dice.

Well, friend. Are you a willow whip?

Are you able to grow after being chopped up? Can you set down deep roots wherever you are plunked?

Or will you just wither away?

See, there’s something about belonging to Jesus that acts like that fancy rooting compound. Even when we are torn from our original habitat, pain and danger and fear teach us to turn to the Strength of our souls. And even under harsh circumstances, our hearts can find peace and comfort and security in the knowledge that we are not alone, that we have a purpose, that we can bloom where we are planted.

Faith and prayer – mighty strong rooting compound, if you ask me.

Dead branches sticking out of the ground look pretty silly. No strength. No resilience. No beauty.

But the living willow whips – those are vibrant! Abundant with pussywillow buds. Verdant with life. Goldfinches love swaying on those branches. A living work of love, rooted deeply, drinking freely.

I’ve started two large arches – lovely.

But it’s the sculptures I’m most pleased with.

I’m weaving them around wire forms to train them into different shapes. They will be ‘living bouquets’, vases of sorts. Wherever they are bound together, they will fuse, creating pieces of living art.

Ah, friend.

Don’t you want that for your life?

Don’t you want to root well? To submit to the Gardener’s design for you? To become the masterpiece the mind of God imagined before you were even born?

Learn to root deep like a willow whip with me?

Father, we don’t always understand what Your plan is for us – but we choose to trust You, to root where You plant us, to allow ourselves to be shaped and molded into stunning masterpieces. Stimulate our best growth as we dig down into Your Truth. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at, and my poetry is stashed at Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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