In the place where we live there is a large willow tree just outside in our garden, it causes crack to grow in our walls because its roots have grown so large and so long that they go right underneath our housing. So yes, the willow is something which I am aware of practically every day. So yes, the spirit of this tree is very close to me.
I came across some commentary on the development of the name willow during my research. Apparently willow comes from the Anglo-Saxon and means ‘pliancy’. The Old French “saille” means to rush out suddenly and the Latin “salire” means to leap. The botanical name for Willow, Salix, comes from the Celtic word ‘sal’ – meaning near, and “lis” – meaning water. Note that this forms saille, the name we would call willow in Celtic terms. Robert Graves apparently suggested that the words witch and wicker are derived from the word Willow.
Thank you for your kind words Dowrgi, I have positive feelings about the directions in which my studies are going too.