Nightingale 2 by D.I. Jolly

Edger sat by the window watching the birds who lived in the only tree in his garden, idly telling himself that he would one day look up what kind of birds they were. Which was something he told himself every time he saw them while he sat by the window. In fact, he knew so little about birds, that he never once realised that they were often not even the same type of bird two days in a row. In his idle musings, he merely accepted that a bird could change as much as a human, and on some unconscious level just presumed that they too gained and lost weight. But if he ever actually thought about it directly, he’d know that that was wrong.

But he also didn’t care, because what was actually important to him was the act of doing nothing but sitting by the window and watching. Sometimes he watched the birds and sometimes he watched the rain. When he was awake in time he watched the sunrise, but never the sunset, because his house faced the wrong way.

He wasn’t reflecting on his day, or his life, he wasn’t pondering some great problem, he was just sitting and watching, but not seeing. It was his time to simply breathe. His mind would empty as his lungs filled and there he would sit.

Even though he loved it, he wouldn’t say it filled him with joy, because, for him, joy seemed to active an emotion to describe those times. The truth was he hardly ever spoke to anyone about those times, but to himself, he’d say it was his time for being alive. Not living, not taking life by the horns, but the simple act of being alive.

Some people believed that it was in those moments that genius lived. That it was where inspiration and epiphany came from. But the most interesting thought Edger had ever had while sitting by the window, was mistaking birds for other birds. He didn’t use those times for deep thoughts, that’s not what they were about, they were just for himself. To recharge, to be in his body and be completely one with himself, and to breathe.

One by one the friends who told him he should spend more time living life and less time sitting doing nothing, one by one their candles went out. Until eventually he was the last of his friends, and the last of his family and on his last day as he went to buy a book on birds he felt Death’s tap on his shoulder and saw the hand of bone reaching down to offer him guidance into the next world and he wondered, idly, if Heaven wasn’t sitting by the window, watching the birds who lived in the only tree in his garden.

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