Lily, the end
I finally went back outside. It’s an odd sort of day, overcast with rain expected but no rain. It’s humid and breezy and there’s a dullness in the air. I poked around in the monkeyflower bushes beneath the toyon and found what was left of one of Lily’s eggs.
That’s when it all hit me. That’s when I started to cry. I took picture after picture but the darn focus wouldn’t focus and the white of the shell was too white to grasp. I just kept switching settings and taking shot after shot after shot. Because I was sorta crying and sorta sniffling, Cassie kept coming over to nuzzle me. Finally I just gave up, rocked back on my heels, and turned off the camera.
I stood up and there, hovering just beside the bush, was Lily. No chittering. No sound except for the speedy flapping of her wings. I watched her for 10, maybe 20 seconds or so, and then she flew off, out of the yard.
I’d like to think she stopped to say goodbye.