cold mountain (63)

someone speaks and they all look down

Yesterday it rained, a sudden downpour that flooded the library basement, the entryways to the dormitories; and my pants were soaked to the knee in the three minutes it took me to walk across campus. I took refuge indoors and sat in an armchair by the windows, reading, reading, until the furious patter slowed then stopped. I packed up my books, wound up my umbrella. I stepped outside into the half-light, and they were there: flocks of sparrows on the sidewalks and in the trees. I can’t remember if I heard them first, or saw them first, but there they dashed and scattered with a chorus of tiny music. Once I noticed them I couldn’t stop looking for them, hoping another one would come nearer me than the last, and perhaps gift me her lightness of wing and gracious, simple song.

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