On Saturday, I looked out the window and wrote:

Two magpies on the fence.

Then three.

Then four.

Then none.

On Sunday, I chanced upon an interview by Larry King with Anjelica Huston, whose autobiography, A Story Lately Told, takes its title from a traditional nursery rhyme:

One for sorrow,

Two for mirth,

Three for a wedding,

And four for death.

I looked again at the still, black fence. Nothing. The birds elsewhere seemed to pay no mind to misery or to joy. In the days that followed, the last remnants of snow and ice began to melt in the afternoon sun, which continued to rise and set over the valley. The crows antagonized the resident hawk, but neither party heard the clamor of hostility within these walls. The herd of deer marched on indifferently on both sides of the fence, and then today, spring arrived as it always does, and as it always must, upon winter’s end.

But didn’t you hear my silent resignation? I am the only human being living on the mountain. And I see magpies flying against storm clouds, but I don’t know where.

Music: Alexandre Desplat – River