• Marcia Meier

How Weeping Willow Books Got Its Name


A number of people have asked how Weeping Willow Books got its name. I grew up in Michigan, and have very fond memories of the weeping willow trees that grew bountifully in my hometown. Something about the wispery leaves and graceful, sorrowful branches seemed to speak to me. When I began writing as a teenager, these lovely trees began to show up in my writing—a protective tree whose roots made a home for bunnies in one of my children’s stories, a refuge outside the window of a little girl whose mom had died; they seemed to find a place in every story I wrote.

Weeping willow trees have a special symbology in myth. In many parts of the world they symbolize renewal, growth, vitality and immortality because of their ability to quickly regrow, even from a cutting pushed into the ground.

The tree is also associated with grief (of which I know quite a lot), and is known to have great healing powers. Its bark has been used as a remedy for colds and fevers, and to treat inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Young willow twigs are also chewed to relieve pain. In the early nineteenth century, modern science isolated the active ingredient responsible, salicylic acid, which was also found in the meadowsweet plant. From this the world's first synthetic drug, acetylasylic acid, was developed and marketed as Aspirin.

I think the tree’s ability to regenerate probably means the most to me, as I believe that re-creation and renewal are available to all of us, no matter how many times we fail, and no matter what has come before. There have been many times in my life when belief in renewal was key to my survival. Weeping Willow Books is only the latest incarnation in my professional career, thus the weeping willow is the perfect totem.

Thanks to the website www.treesforlife.org.uk for the above information about weeping willows.

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