far too much writing, far too many photos

As I sat here at the computer this morning, I heard a sound from the living room — a thump, as in something striking the picture window. I glanced over, my head turning in time for me to see a couple of tiny forms on the other side of the glass, falling out of view. A trip outside revealed two small bodies, a pair of goldfinches that had flown into the window, now resting in the grass, appearing limp, fragile. I picked them up, checked for signs of life, found none. No breath, no hearts beating — necks apparently broken, the bodies giving up the ghost in the instant of impact. Not a bad way to pass over, that — in flight, a state I can only imagine as one of pleasure, making an instant transition. No lingering, no drawn-out suffering.

The only other instance of something like that during my time in this house: one quiet night two, three years back as I sat in the living room, the shades down, the place silent. Silent until a sudden thump against the same windowpane, loud enough to make me jump, my heart suddenly beating hard and fast. I pulled the shades, saw nothing. A walk outside produced the same nothing — no body, no sounds of nearby animal life. Moonlight, nothing more. Next morning I found the smudged outline of a body with wings outstretched on the window’s outside surface, a body with around a two-foot wingspan. An owl, probably, coming up against the glass, recovering quickly, disappearing into the night.

I carried the goldfinches off away from the house, laying them in tall grass where I imagine they’ll provide sustenance for a host of other creatures.

Two little beings — here one moment, gone the next. Temporary, of limited duration. Like most everything in this life of ours.

Madrid, te echo de menos.

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