I’m locked out. I press myself against the walls of my house, hoping that the windowsill will protect me from the steady downpour of rain. Tests, practices, buses, and now this.
My strategy isn’t working.
Nevertheless, I stay stationary, for at least I feel the comfort of my home besides me. The rain beats a simple 4/4 rhythm, which clashes against the hectic 12/8 time signature commanding my life. The two tempos – control and chaos – will not synchronize.
A petrified squeal pierces the tangled rhythms. Through the grey haze, I see a yellow blur flash on the ground several yards ahead of me. Pressed with curiosity, I leave my makeshift shelter towards the bright noise. It’s a bird, small enough to hold in my hand, whose damp feathers twitch uncomfortably at the touch of my finger. Despite its protesting wail, I gather the hatchling and pull it into my chest, for it cannot return to its nest.
The beat of the rain does not waver, but my rhythm begins to adjust.
To my surprise, the cries of the bird subside as the heat from my body warms the little creature. Time flows by, but I do not move in fear of losing the trust I have gained. Seconds beat into minutes which flow into hours that surge into moments and swell into memories.
Despite the dying rhythm of its heart, I nursed that hatchling back to health. The rain had ceased and I had obtained a key from my mother. Its sunshine plumes danced in the breeze as the bird bounced in the palm of my hand, ready to return home. With a full heart, I let that bird go, and I watched it flutter and bob through the air, ascending towards it nest in the oak tree. I remember a smile had broken out on my face, stretching further and further with each flutter of the bird’s wings.
But I could not stop it – everything happened so fast. A yellow feather, entrenched in saliva, dangled from the snout of a fox.