Band-Tailed Pigeons

Outside the cabin, as I rush from one task to the next, an improbably wet sound overhead. Bird wings, but as if they were flying through water, or water in the air.

Looking up, I see a huge flock (huge!) of … pigeons (probably the native and local Band-Tailed)? or Mourning Doves? Maybe 100, 200 of them! I’ve never seen so many at once.

Moving as a unit, they twist and turn once or twice, gray shapes against a cloudy - foggy sky.

Then they, and their wing sounds, quickly merge into the foggy clouds, vanish, evaporate.

I am a witness.

Vanishing just as quickly is my recall of this vivid, singular moment. So I turn the experience around, up, down, in order, and backwards, in my mind.

First the sound (can I hear it now?).

Then the shock of so many!

Then the bird-shapes perforating the fog-clouds, one-by-one, fluidly.

And I am left behind, wondering, was it a sign? An omen? Mere good luck?

No matter. I told Jane about it that evening. She liked the story. We debated the bird ID. And I decided to write this story.

image of a flock of pigeons

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