Nice of them, really, considering the ankle.
Somewhere, up on the roof across the yard, perhaps, I sense a nest in need of Spring repair. I can't see it, but I can watch my cleaning crew disappear into the gutter and the galley between the terracotta roof tiles. Later they reappear to play a while on the edge of the roof on their side of the courtyard before getting back to work on mine.
From my desk, I look out a huge, high window onto the terraza. For two days, I have enjoyed a nonstop typing-hours stage show. A steady parade of chubby birds has paused to pose on the railing facing me, sometimes for as long as 5 or 6 minutes. They stand, they bounce, they twist and strut, each holding high a freshly snatched branch or a delicate white feather. They've even carried off some of the annoying white fuzz that floats in from some tree or another along the river bank this time of year and coats everything in sight, including my laundry, my door and my unsuspecting plants. Well, and me, if I linger on the terraza.
I'm curious about the obligatory stop on the rail in front of my window. Are my sweet, feathered neighbors asking permission to carry away my debris? Could they be gloating, cruelly showing off their spoils? Or are they celebrating and resting in their glory just a minute, a bit like me when I like something I've finished?
I worry if I get close enough I'll recognize the silent longing I've spotted in the eyes of more than one nonfeathered neighbor this week. An unspoken but perfectly delivered Spring question, eyes roaming round the all-but-bare terraza, pausing momentarily at the stacks of upturned terracotta pots still wintering in the far corner before coming back, slowly, to rest in mine:
"And the garden? When?"