In this country, a bird is irrelevant.
This land of basalt and dry earth always been hard. The flush times have come and then been winnowed by the lean years that must always follow.
Here, a mere season of abundance cannot be meaningful. Only a covey, persistent for a thousand generations begins to be something.
Over the decades, if we are fortunate we may come to know this place or one like it.
A spot where over a few dozen seasons we will watch the coveys rise and fall, see the roads come and the fauna that marks shorter time spans than our own go.
But we will never really see the place change. This land marks time only through its own weathering. The decay of boulders chronicles the ages like a giant geological metronome, and we can last no more than a single pulse of the pendulum.
And though we shall wink out, the covey may live on.
A single entity – the first covey no different then the 1,000th – the birds will read their history on the face of basalt and in the dried earth.
Though the logical truth of it all cannot be changed, for us it is different.
A single bird, a single moment of perfection will leave a mark on the boulder that is my center, marking a time of geologic importance.