The above painting, The Branch That Never Falls, is of a scene outside my bedroom window. The branch in question has been threatening to take out some lovely young oak leaf hydrangeas I planted a couple of summers ago. It sways above them through wind, rain and snow, and although it has been dead for some years now, the branch refuses to come down.
I fought to take it down. I climbed a ladder and tried to leverage my weight against it. I jumped and grabbed on to the end of it, running one way and then another. Certain that predicted hurricane winds would finally do the job, I built an elaborate structure underneath to protect the hydrangeas. All to no avail.
Finally one day last fall, when the rest of the maple tree had turned a glorious golden yellow, I decided I had the wrong attitude about the branch. It was, and is, beautiful. Its bone lavender colors contrast perfectly with the autumn yellows of the leaves. The shapes and lines the branch makes create a kind of music complete with dance moves choreographed by the wind.
It was not a branch that needed to be taken down. It was a branch that needed to be painted.