Every evening, they come.
One by one,
the egrets arrive at the river
preparing to roost for the night.
They dance from tree to tree,
congregating on the bridge for evening gossip,
and when dark falls,
they find just the right branch,
tuck their noses under a wing
and dot the trees with their fluffing puffs of cotton.
She loves to watch the egrets, my grandmother-in-law.
Every night, she perches her tenacious 91-year-old self
on the patio to watch them arrive
on the banks of the Mahaweli.
I sit with her one evening and watch them,
captivated both by the mystery of their patterns
and the joy she still finds in simple things.
We chat about how she watches them every day,
and sometimes even wakes up too-early in the morning
to watch them take off.
Silently I remember that
my own grandfather-a-half-a-world-away
loved these gracious birds too.
their many years
have given them an appreciation
for slowing down,
I capture a moment with my lens,
grateful for the wisdom
of the old souls
and the grace
of the egrets.