I rested my forehead against her, closing my eyes.
“Hey there, Willow,” I whispered as she filled my senses. The rough texture of bark, the crisp scent of sap, and the chime of rustling leaves drew past memories—foolish childhood secrets, lazy summer days, Mom passing away.
“You’re going to a better place now,” I assured her. Despite all this, I smiled with watery eyes and whispered my goodbye.
As the noise of chainsaws filled the air, I left. I did not protest. I did not grieve. I just looked back on our time together, appreciating that our paths ever crossed.