The Painted Tree: A Celebration

hwy 68 tree Alone in a large field there was a single tree, a small dead oak one, all bent leafless limbs, a jagged brown-gray thing of beauty, standing in the sun and the rain, in the day and the night, home to some beings, I’m sure, though I know not who.

The tree was behind a barbed wire fence and though a fence itself wouldn’t keep me out, that the field and the tree and the fence were on a highway was enough to. There was an honorable about this small tree that caught my attention every time I drove by, once stopping me so I could look a bit closer and take a picture, with the thought of bestowing the tree’s photograph with blossoms or leaves or lights, but I never did; I just drove by and looked and tipped my imaginary hat to the field’s beacon, the field’s talisman.

2015-01-15 11.48.35Until the day I drove by to see that someone hadn’t let a barbed wire fence along a highway keep them out. The tree was now dressed in bright and flagrant color—having been painted pink and blue and white! Whomever you are who did that, I tip my hat to you. You made of that dead tree a celebration of imagination. A while later, after rain that came at long last, the tree toppled over onto its side. It is now a sculpture of a different kind. The occasional cow visitors amble around it.

And you, what might you like to transform in your life? What is there—behind a fence or unfenced—that’s in need of a few coats of brilliant color? What will your imagination color?