All things smoke in sunlight

A bedraggled sparrow sits under the melting snow of my banister and cocks its head at the sun. Its food on the balcony is freezing this noon, and in the new sun the blowing snow sparkles like mica. As it hops up the roof tiles just across I remember another time, and a brief stretch of mica-laden mountainside high in Bhutan. Then, as a young woman I had recalled the starry story of ‘Lu-hit,’ ‘taaron ki raajkanya,’ the sinuous river that enters India as Brahmaputra, shedding body and identity and virtue as only water and legend can.

Because these connections are all there can be, because there is no other certainty, I can take these signs for wonders, scrying in gusts and whirls edge-caught in bricks and branches and hoods rising up from the roof-ridges till all things smoke in sunlight some ordinary miracles. ‘Tis grace , isn’t it.