It was just the sort of morning when the chill is an added disincentive to emerge from under the blanket. But the relentless dullness won't let one sleep in. So I slipped on my sneakers and stepped out onto the concrete driveway that circles our apartments. Enormous dust-bunny clouds smothered the morning sky.
Morning walkers huffed by trying to shrug off the weight of the breaking day. The first honks and rumbles of city traffic, cries of hawkers peddling fresh vegetables, another predictable day until something marvellous happened.
Perched on a wall bordering an open storm water drain, I saw a kingfisher. What was it doing there, in the middle of tall apartments and commercial buildings? Did the all but leafless, bent apology for a tree offer it a proper home? Would it find fish in the murky waters of the drain?
Perhaps the bird knew better than I. It flouted its brilliant blue feathers in a flash of eternal optimism and pursued its urge to thrive in the unlikeliest of places.
Refreshed by the morning breeze, I tried to learn more about this gorgeous bird. The numerous varieties thrive in the Americas, Africa and Asia. The bird I encountered bore a striking resemblance to his English cousins, and his Thai and Florida kins, too.