After you left, and it was so strange how only then, I really started noticing things.

It's as though in being forced to confront the fleetingness of life I was suddenly massively awake to all of the things constantly surrounding me that I had never noticed before.

It was the January after you left that I first saw the blackbirds dancing.

There is an old four story rust brick building that stands on the corner intersecting Main Street and Center. I pass it everyday on my way home from work. I approach it heading West, sitting at the stop light as it lingers red for what feels like minutes at a time.

It was the January after you left that I first even noticed the blackbirds at all.

They sit on a tall metal sign atop of the bank, but not for long before one of them spreads his wings and begins to fly. And do you know what all of those other birds do then?

They follow him.

The entire flock follows that bird, where immediately they are all jetting through the sky in a perfect formation, soaring upwards and falling downwards, gliding right and slicing left.

A flock of blackbirds dancing beautifully in unison against an ever dimming teal and rose and amber flushed sky alongside soft paintbrush-like strokes of white clouds.

In my haze of desolation then, when I first started noticing the blackbirds dance, it felt as though they were putting on a show just for me. As soon as I arrived, slowing and stopping at that red light facing the sunset, only then would they soar from their perches and begin their dance back and forth in the sky.

I would watch them soar, and I would smile.

And I would cry.

Even still, on the coldest days, I watch them as I wait. Even now, throughout the thick of winter, when it is crisp and bleak and subzero and the sun sets early in the evening as I drive home from work, they are always there.

Always flying.

Always reminding me of you.

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