Under My Willow Tree…

Under my Willow Tree…

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The more time I spend outdoors, the deeper I fall in love with trees.

Trees are the wisest teachers a human can have.

Trees are everything I aspire to become.


Trees are patient.

Trees are generous.

Trees don’t question their worthiness or mine.

Trees grow underground networks to help other trees thrive.

Trees tolerate human stupidity—like when we carve our initials into them—and still give us shade and cover.

Trees bend toward the light.

Trees have infinite wisdom stored inside their rings.

Trees don’t judge other trees—at least not out loud.

Trees are trustworthy and know how to keep confidence.

Trees turn everything, even dead bodies, into something useful.

Trees are always growing.


I spent time in nature and around trees practically from birth. My earliest memories are of time spent alone under the majestic Willow tree in our Persian garden. Its fluid, lyrical swaying mesmerized me while remaining profoundly grounded and strong.



Under my willow tree, I felt a sense of belonging early in life that I intuited I might never find among humans.

Under my Willow tree, there was endless space to be as I am and, more importantly, to become whoever I wanted.

The trees are my refuge when I feel myself or the world foreclosing on my identity. The pressure to decide “who we are” and “what we are going to do” intensifies as we age. I did not know this then, but I recognized the sense of freedom that entered every cell in my body when it was just me and the Willow tree.

Under my Willow tree, I was never forced to decide “who I was”. There were no professions, roles, or pronouns—just me.

Under my Willow tree, solitude was not loneliness.

Under my Willow tree, adventure did not require Navy Seal-level preparation, bold action, or a 5-star hotel. It was enough to rest, receive, and explore the adventures waiting inside me.

Under my Willow tree, I had the first clue that my mind may not be all I am. Separating my mind from my consciousness seemed natural and effortless in that sacred space.

Under my Willow tree, I learned to slow down to the speed of life.  

Under my Willow tree, I lost track of time—long before society taught me its pint-sized definition of time.

Under my Willow tree, I created time. Time didn’t create me.


You might think that this is a tale of innocent childhood and that the idyllic life I led under the Willow tree was a luxury no adult could afford.

But you’d be wrong.

Life indeed happened.

Revolution, immigration, becoming American, my parent’s divorce, seismic family shakeups, my divorce, single parenthood, chronic pain, years of lost wanderings in the desert of the soul, and the death of dear ones–all happened.

I stopped carrying the Willow tree’s ancient wisdom inside my heart and focused on joining the infinite race toward achievement.

I forgot about the Willow tree.

But here’s the thing about trees. They don’t forget and abandon us, even when we do the same to them.



Two decades later, when I returned to the trees, they unconditionally accepted me and helped me find my way back to my Willow Tree.

Do you have a Willow Tree that you’ve abandoned some time ago?

If so, I promise it’s still waiting for you and ready to welcome you back.

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