I walk to the sink for a glass of water.

The world outside twitches.

I stop the tap and look out into the panorama of the garden.

They are scattered here and there, like a rain of blessings: great tits, dark-eyed, puff-balled. They twitter to each other in the language of family.

How do they decide who goes to this bush, to that one?

Nearest to the window, one bird plies around last year’s rosehips. Its life makes the long stems wave and tremble. It moves, as they always do, in stop-motion. A grace machines will never have.

Then they all depart. Twigs and branches echo with their feet.

To the next garden, and the next. A swarm of beauty.

I raise the glass to my lips and drink.

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