House is quiet except for the everyday background hum of appliances and the steady, gentle ticking of an unidentified clock. Seated at the kitchen table in the steadily brightening daylight, I watch a parade of birds flitter and hop to feast on the feeders placed outside the window. Birdsong pushes gently against the window as a flock of grackle invade the feeder on the fence. They swarm in and away, in and away like a tide of blue black feathers. Their yellow eyes pierce the shiny refrain of their heads. Somewhere a mockingbird mimics the calls of the other birds -- most of which have backed away to find shelter in the line of cypress fir providing back drop to the garden corner, a destination for the picket fence. The blue jays feasted early and departed. The brilliantly colored cardinals in their jackets of red, dart in and out among the chickadees and sparrows. The cardinals with their bandit faces and conical headdresses reminiscent of the gnome sculptures decorating the flower beds. The branches of the cypress sway in their own dance as the motion of the birds bring the limbs of the tree to life or an intermittent breeze becomes a dance partner. The house ticks on. I reflect the surroundings and smile.
Hace Williams is a Seattle area author and journalist.