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Cynthia Staples : Branching Thoughts

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Words & Images

Branching Thoughts

By Cynthia Staples

Next year I think that I will produce a book of branches. That’s right, a big thick book of photography composed of nothing but the images of tree limbs in silhouette against the sky, reflected in water, and swaying in the breeze. Many different species will be represented in this book’s pages but especially on display will be the branches of the oak tree that towers over my home.

It is a mighty beast, mythic in stature and graceful in repose. Its limbs regularly tap against my upper bedroom window.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Its leaves make their way into all entrances, crackling under foot. Its roots increasingly minimize the landlord’s garden. And its acorn bounty … For quite a while this autumn, it seemed that every squirrel and blue jay in town called that tree’s gargantuan height home. Now that its branches are mostly bare I see no animals.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

A few plastic bags are entangled as a result of the last big winds. Soon snow will fall, white crystals to glisten upon brown bark. Sheets of ice will form to weigh upon each inch. In winter, if I listen close, I may even hear the splinter of wood. But mostly what I will do is what I have done before each season.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Make my way throughout the house to photograph dark limbs at different angles from different windows, to view the tree’s beauty juxtaposed against the sky in the shifting light of dawn to dusk and back again. These are the images that will form the heart of my tome. Yes, indeed, that will be my big book of branches with its center of oak. But why should I wait until next year?

Photo © Cynthia Staples

I have many photographs at hand right now. More branching photos I will certainly take but is there any reason I cannot start my book today? I cannot think of one. And so I shall. Do what?

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Just begin. •

Next: Finding Beauty (in a Broken World) »

© 2013 Cynthia Staples. All rights reserved.

Photo by Cynthia StaplesCynthia Staples is a highly creative writer and photographer living in the Boston area. Her words and images capture moments and memories and weave together inspiring stories for her readers. More »

Updated 4/17/14