Morning begins somewhere between the dream and the cup, the wide-coloured sky of unnameable blue and impossible clouds. These and the clear definition of tree and branch and houses echoed in the cool flat of the water. I don’t know the names of all the morning birds here, but I recognize their protests and warnings.

The bones holding muscle and tendon have begun to ache. They complain–all of them at once like a room full of hungry children–when I slide off the forgiving mattress to hobble to the window. From here I can see the hospital’s red beacon blinking through leaves on the far side of the bay. It must be safe. Because here in this protected enclave I have the luxury of imagining that the world is kind and generous.

But at every turn these days the earth reminds us of her drained and shattered body. So that even here I can feel the shaking of Her soft round belly with such ferocity that we all might be flung off.

Except for the birds.

They might stay to soothe Her aching bones with their perfect morning song.