A Flutter Beyond Time


A small flutter in the corner of your vision you turn to peer at the large willow standing sentry just beyond your window. This aged warrior is your favorite tree in the entire yard, for its root trunk is twisted and bent but it still reached ever upwards to a magnificent height. The webbing of bare branches eases your search for the movement.
Ah, just as you thought, a smile grows upon your countenance. The sparrow has returned busying itself preparing a sturdy home. Fragments of the past year are hurled upwards and outwards in rapid succession. His mate lands on the edge and tucks some fresh material into the framework.
Captivated by this mystical dance of remodeling you move from the pulsating blue-white light, which had held your attention most of the day. Weary eyes watch the pair flitter and flutter in a hurried choreography as green buds emerge and expand until the pair is nearly hidden from view. The caress of the wind billows out the full branches giving you long glimpses of their efforts.
You to continue your vigil not questioning whether time is passing through you or whether it is you who is passing through time.
The female sits upon three eggs. The very next gust of wind reveals three healthy fledglings on the verge of taking their first leap of faith. Large rain drops splatter with determination upon the window as you watch the fierceness of the storm whipping the willow branches into a frenzy obscuring your view of the family. This summer has been full of storms but this one, this night certainly will mark your memory. A blinding flash punctuated by a deafening crack ruthlessly severes a large branch. Flames, desperate for life, lick aggressively at the limb but the deluge smothers their efforts.
How could the sparrows have survived this onslaught? You heart pounds in your ears as you wipe away your frantic breath prints from the pane. The carnage strikes horror in your soul as you scan the debris . Night surrenders to day with strong sun rays making your flesh uncomfortable.
There, a fledgling on the ground, both parents are hopping and dancing encouraging their child to use its wings and get off the ground. You release the breath you were not aware you were holding. It was not created to dwell upon the ground, it should not be there, no…it’s life was meant to be lived in the air. White knuckles grasp tightly to the tweed curtains adorning the pattern of panes serving as your vantage point. Silently, you chant your encouragements to the tiny creature. Flapping its wings reveals a twisted mangled wing. Your heart hits your stomach knowing what the parents do not. A pair of interested eyes studies the situation before pouncing to claim its prize. The parents swoop sharply at the head of the creature but it is too late.
Your eyes travel back to the nest as the oval leaves change from a healthy green to a vibrant yellow. A shower of bright yellow flakes are carried from the branches as if the sun were a piñata and had burst open. The nest is empty, the sparrows on their way south. Ice crystals form at the edge of each pane beginning an elegant journey toward the center until a dense filter obscures the form of the willow until it becomes a shadow of what it once was.
Turning, you catch your reflection seeing your mother’s face staring back. Grey tresses have become your glory and deep lines map the struggles you have endured. You reclaim your seat and are drawn back into the blue-white pulsating light. You find a formal document instead of the term paper you had been working on this morning. The cursor blinks at the end of the phrase, “…of sound mind and body hereto bequeath…”.