It was lovely there under the tree. The gusts of wind rising and falling. The dried grasses rustle now so differently than their green bodies did only a month or so ago. The wings of locusts pulsing waves of what seemed to me today to be calls of distant hungers. Above me hung a dead branch caught in the V of living branches. It felt to me like the old, dried and scaly voice that has been hanging around the edges of my heart lately. Some dead thing that dangles in the branches of the living…old messages that suck life out of what lives and wants to flourish, messages that add weight and heighten division. It was good to sit there under that dead one… seeing the beauty of its curves, its decaying bark… and see oh so clearly that it was dead, waiting, perhaps, for the right wind or storm to release it to the ground where it, too, could release itself back to the earth.