We stood under the bridge, me admiring the beauty and wondering where the homeless people were because we were surely in the most calming and scenic under the bridge location in all the land. In childish excitement she began throwing seeds everywhere; in holes, atop leaves, beneath rocks, into the stream and finally upon the ground.

We stood silent and still. Waiting.

Moments later they emerged, some swooping down to eat, some sitting down to sing and others flying out and away to escape our watchful eyes.

It was dark under the bridge, maybe even spooky until approaching the stream and listening to its melody. Sunlight streamed past its edges to create a soft inner glow at our feet and above us were lights that didn’t work because the birds built nests and nurtured their young in those spaces.

She was happy to have seen their emergence so played for a moment in that aimless and curious contented way common to children. I called out when it was time to leave and we headed back to the sunlight for a brief walk home.

As we walked I asked, “Do you suppose you’d ever want to live in a place like that, there under the bridge?”

“No way! Are you silly Mom?” she answered.

“No, I think it’s beautiful and other than a blanket and food you have everything you need,” I answered.

“How would my iPad work and how would we watch tv?” she asked.

“It wouldn’t but we wouldn’t need those things. The birds seem to love that place,” I replied.

“But they can fly away whenever they want Mom,” she said.

I laughed. “That’s true, sweetheart, they can.”

Not all birds were meant to fly so that evening I baked a chicken and packed it up so we could eat it at the beach under the moon.

We sat silent and still. Waiting.

The whales would soon break the water, dance and then fly