Holding my breath I try not to move a muscle. I’m perched up in a big oak tree, even the slightest movement will make a loud crunch on these dry branches. I’m building our next treehouse in my head while our hound dog Hanky is hot on my trail. We are in a serious game of hide and seek. Hank always wins, but I can’t help but hope maybe this time he will run right past my scent and I will scurry down and run to the studio to tell dad I won. Giddy with the thought, I retreat back into my thoughts imagining how the bottom level of the treehouse will be a wide flat landing, I’ll need that for receiving guests. There will be a spiral staircase that runs up the middle, leading to landings on each level. I think there should be 5 levels, but I set my expectations a bit more realistic since I live in Southern Colorado and I’m workin with short, broad, sweeping oak trees. So I decide on 3 levels. Level 3 is really what I want to fantasize about, that’s where all the fun stuff will be, my cache of fossils, sticks and shark teeth that I find all over the property. I’ll definitely need to get some binoculars. Dad had some, now where did I see those? Wrestled from my thoughts again, I feel the tree sway and bounce ever so slightly. Hank is circling the tree and jumping up onto the trunk with his front paws. I’ve been discovered. Down I go to give him the cookie he earned. I never did build that treehouse I used to dream about. Don’t get me wrong, we had a treehouse, but nothing like what I imagined.
As I finally step back to take in the entire painting I’ve just finished, I realize this is not what I expected at all. I had dreamt of painting blue herons for years, but I always expected them to be so much more grey, so much more muted. Perhaps they are so bright and attention grabbing because I ignored them for so long. Whatever the reason may be, I’m glad I finally gave these blue herons a moment in the sun. Maybe I still can build that old treehouse I used to dream about.