Underneath the Willow Tree

So yesterday I got a new tattoo, in dedication to Mike and our lives in general throughout this whole ordeal.  I have been drawing it up for a while.. umming and ahhing about what to get, to represent Mike and our journey.  I think the biggest thing we’ve learnt throughout all of this, is to let go.  Let go of what we once had, of the way we thought our lives would be, the future we thought we could create…  So much time was spent resisting the way things unfolded, but it wasn’t until we finally accepted the way things were, that we could begin to move forward and enjoy what we still have.

I started looking for ideas as to what could represent letting go, and all I found was pictures of kites and balloons..  Eventually, I stumbled across this quote:

“As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break”

Upon further investigation, I discovered that Willow trees were amongst the sturdiest… Which is quite a bizarre ‘coincidence’ since the home that Mike is living in is actually divided into four wings/houses, named after the trees found in their gardens.  And of course, he is living in Willow House…  That pretty much sold it for me.  So I sketched my design from the actual willow trees in his garden.  This was the final draft among many I drew up.

Draft #873487891132

Draft #873487891132

The inspiration...

The inspiration… (“Mike or the tree??” I hear you ask)

I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  I went back to my old work, to the person who did my last one, and naturally, the work was flawless.  Was the first one I got in about six years, since I left tattooing.  I couldn’t justify a reason to get one any earlier until now.  I ended up hiding something in my design to represent Mike, just to go that extra step hehe.  I was so pedantic over every single line, that the whole thing is loaded with symbolism…  In the way the lines point, bend and curl…  And the roots tell their own story, in a way that only me and Mike know.  I suppose I knew I would get a tattoo for him eventually, and I would rather get it when he is still alive to see it, and have him know how much he means now, not when it’s too late.  And it will still stay true throughout my life, even after he is gone…  When I will need to keep reminding myself to go with the wind, not brace myself against it until I inevitably get knocked down.


Work in progress..

Anyway, I wanted unveil my tattoo to Mike in a memorable way.. so alas, I wrapped up my arm like a present, and attached this card I wrote for him:



Underneath the Willow Tree


‘This is for you, to tell you how much I love you

This is for me, to remind me to let go


Plant my feet firmly, into the ground

Let the rest flow, whatever may come


Tough lessons in life, we’ve taken a blow

Fought through so much, no one could know


Denial, conflict, fear and confusion

Acceptance, depression… Now pick ourselves up


Resistance is futile; too rigid, we’ll snap

Stuck in the past, forever looking back


Living in the future; heavy heart, heavy mind

Stick to the present, some solace you’ll find


We’ve learnt to adjust, grow and unite

Stronger than ever, we continue to fight


Do what we can, adapt every day

Connect to the earth, and find our own way


Part of my roots, how you have shaped me

Brought light to my life, and helped me evolve


Forever etched a reminder, of what we once had

The impact you’ve made, can never be replaced


This is for you, your spirit forever with me

This is for me, to bend with the wind’


Whatever could it be…….?!




8 thoughts on “Underneath the Willow Tree

  1. Crying whilst sitting here with bub on boob, pretending it’s because she is a biter ;)…..nope its your blog……..so much love for you both, even though i havent seen you in years. Rhett asks about you often and sends his love. Lots of love for the journey ahead xxxx

  2. Amazing Claire, again you made water fall from my eyes.. Just beautiful… The love you two have for each other and is priceless..xo

  3. Pingback: Skeletons in the Light

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