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Flutterings of white in the sky catch my eye and I watch as four, no five, white-winged birds soar in spirals overhead – one hundred, two hundred feet above – I am no good judge of heights or depths or long distances. Tirelessly, they swirl like pale confetti in the air.

Silently they gyre round and round, their wings sparkling like reflectors in the thin morning sun. Flutter, then glide, wing again even higher. None leading nor following, they circle. Too high to be looking for food, I think, mostly likely at play, enjoying the cool lift of the wind beneath their wings, the slipstream whispering as it glides smoothly over their head and shoulders.

I feel the chill of the morning air on my arms and shoulders. Should I hurry in and pick up the sweater I so carelessly left on the chair?  I hesitate, reluctant to leave this aerial display for fear it will disappear if I am not here to witness it. I dash – then scurry back, warmer now, and instantly look up to spy the acrobats of the air.

The pale blue morning is still. Then a flicker of white and then another. One by one, they descend from higher levels, dancing down, wheeling and turning like the leaves that are even now falling one by one from limbs and yellowing branches. Up again they soar, higher, higher, until there are only two flashes of white, then one, then none.  I can feel, in the distance, high-piled clouds gathering as the curtains of the sky close without a sound.

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