When Kina was still barely a year old, she developed a passionate interest in birds and would chase them unsteadily around the playground shouting “BOOD!!! BOOOOOOOO-UUUUURDS!!!”
Years later, in the middle of the pandemic, she built a cordial relationship with a particular pigeon, whom we named Pigeon Friend:
Speaking of birds, we have befriended a shabby-looking pigeon who comes to roost on our fire escape. We recognize him because of his rakish little white underwings, and because he’s utterly imperturbable. Kina talks to him while sitting on our dresser, asking him how he’s doing, and telling him that he can be my (Dad’s) little brother. In return, he stares at her with his beady little orange eyes. They are the best of friends.
In December of 2020, Pigeon Friend decamped to cozier climes (we assume) and Kina took to gazing forlornly out the window for her avian chum. Eventually, she wrote him a note that we taped up on the window, in case he ever stopped by while she was not paying attention. It read:
All right, so, made by Kina + Daddy. Come back pigeons, we love you and we miss you. Do you like dogs or cats? Dogs comin’ up! Nothing else.
That note stayed in the window from March 2021 until the autumn. It is unclear if Pigeon Friend ever returned, let alone if he read it and hoped to respond. I think I have the note in a box somewhere.
Today’s note, the product of a mind whose passions have been tempered by age and reason, was much simpler and to the point. In very tiny letters that she wrote herself on notebook paper, surrounded by scribbled hearts:
❤️ I LOVe biRDs ❤️
She stood for a while at the window, notebook pressed to the glass, so that any passing bird might fleetingly know her love. Perhaps one of them knows Pigeon Friend, and will speak kindly of her when they next meet.
It is a garden full of fruits. It is Parade.