There is a broken branch in the tree in my front yard. I estimate it to be 3-4 feet in length. It has long since been severed from the trunk. I don’t know what event caused it to break. It was probably a storm that popped up, winds blowing, rain beating down. One end of the broken piece is held in place by a limb still connected, the other is balanced on a smaller twig-sized sprout. I first noticed the broken branch about a year and a half ago. It balances high in the air, just to the left of the walkway that leads to the front door.
Each time a storm blows through with high winds and heavy rains a decent number of small limbs come down in the yard from that tree. Each time I expect that limb to be one of the ones laying on the ground, collateral damage from the storm. Each time I am surprised to see the broken branch still balanced up there. It cannot hang on for dear life, it has no power. It just lies there, balanced precariously on the limb and twig. It has no control over its circumstances. It must just wait there until an event strong enough to take it down occurs, or until someone gets a large ladder and removes it.
I don’t think another human even knows of its existence. I am probably the only one who has ever seen it up there, and I’m certain I’m the only one who ever wonders about its fate.
Then I realize that once it finally falls to the ground, no longer a hazard to the people that walk beneath it, I’ll probably never think of it again.