Stories of Life
Also featuring stories of drafts and edits.
Outside the window, the world warms, stories of life everywhere.
Swirls of storks climb invisible spirals. Beneath, strata of swallows manoeuvre, twist, brake and snatch, manoeuvre, twist, brake and snatch. Lower still, plummeting sparrows, falling from our eaves to the orange grove below, a constant squabble. Beyond the storks rises a bird of prey, perhaps a buzzard, perhaps something else, I do not have my binoculars to confirm and the angle is off. Three crows mob and give chase, an explosion of collared doves below, flashing from thicket to thicket. Earlier, two ravens headed west, scaring the same doves and a brace of wood pigeon, a cycle which continues throughout the day.
The shepherd is moving the sheep from the field with the olives to the one with the holm oak shade. His dog, at this distance, could be a hunting wolf. Further, a field of brown and well-fed cattle move along the edge in single file, a solitary dark horse in the field between, geese, chickens, and vegetable gardens closer still. Dusty tree-lined trails mark boundaries, arteries to the wilder places beyond this village.