I saw three white feathers today.
The first lay on the windowsill. A little gift quivering in the wind. It was the type of feather you see in a milliners, waiting to be placed proudly in the grandest of hats. I wondered if it had fallen from the top of the maple tree in the lane, whirling, drifting through the silent morning to land like an offering on an altar.
It reminded me of Nelly Coogan, who lived next door to me when I was a kid. She had cat’s eye glasses and leather gloves that buttoned at the wrists. Every morning she would put her pots of homegrown parsley on the kitchen windowsill before she went to work. The sparrows would come and nibble while she was gone, leaving a trail of tiny feathers in their wake.
The second feather floated on the glassy water of the bay, tumbling and spinning in the current. Pointing over the bridge, under the bridge; north and south as the wind eddied and billowed. A soft, white weather vane.
It made me think of the toy compass my son used to have that told you which direction you were going in every time you pressed the button. Very useful. It was always handy to know that when you stood on it in the middle of the night as you stumbled to the bathroom that you were heading north.
The third feather lay on the grass under the Moreton Bay figs that line the shore. It was nestled so carefully it could have been placed there by fairy folk saving it as an eiderdown for the end of the day. I remembered treasure hunts and party games from long ago and moments eating sticky chocolate in the sun.
Three white feathers. Peace, hope, surrender. I wonder if they fell from the same bird, who knew with the wisdom only birds have, where I would walk.
They say things happen in threes. Good things, bad things. Today they were good things. Not discarded. Sent like notes from friends. Breaking through the sky.