First, in a flash, the whistles and roar of the Sunday football game diminished into the television, shushed for the first time in hours. A hush as gentle as a first petal blush settled in the room the moment a flurry of voices exited, and the door shut behind them.
I opened my laptop, and it awakened instantly. Sitting in front of full-paneled windows, I settled in to work. My eyes drifted, however, to the dancing patterns of light on the building in front of me, a city icon, bathed in paired reflections of sky and city alike. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a ripple in a pool created by a lone adventurer, taking a physical solitary walk outside on a neighboring roof below me-not unlike the brief foray of thought I had been about to embark on in the afterglow of the fresh silence that surrounded me.
Sipping my cup of tea, I watched this little white and grey one. He bent his neck to sip enthusiastically from one of five larger pools of water, rainwater, accumulated I expect from earlier this week. He strolled from one pool to the next, enjoying a brief bath. What struck me was how comfortable he seemed being all alone – no nearby sea gulls around to walk with, or talk with, no indication of anxiety about him. In the drawn out tranquil moments before sunset, all I observed was just peacefulness with being alone yet very much not alone. He seemed so comfortable in his own created space, right there out in public in the middle of the city.
After his refreshments, he settled on one edge of the building’s precipice and peered below, statuesquely. Tiny shoppers walked to and fro below him – how small they must have seemed from way up there. I expect he didn’t know nor care that I, in the building next to his personal park, was observing him going about his dusk activities. Yet, I felt a strange connection with this winged beast, perched, alternating on the edge of each wall in succession without any apparent or particular method.
His tallness within his smallness, his posture and poise, attracted me. The sun’s full but reddish and darkening shadows matched the Rooibus tea warming the ceramic coaster beside me, and I was reminded of the work sitting in front of me, still, undone, and waiting for my undivided attention.
The sea gull won’t mind, I’m sure, if I leave him. A sentence more I pen, and he is off – no trace of his visit remaining except a brief account written here. He is oblivious to the musings he inspired one October evening in an observer easily charmed
by the juxtaposition of solitude and busyness in a beloved city.