It had become a sort of routine for her. She’d open the doors leading to the garden, and sit on the bench near the wall. Then the birds would begin their flight. She’d crane her head to the sky, and watch them soar in the endless blue. The birds were a mix of breeds; crows, pigeons, swallows, doves, but that didn’t really matter to her. She’d just watch them in awe, as they glided, swooped and dived, then rose back up. Sometimes they would close ranks and fly together round and round, forming a bird-like whirlpool, before they’d separate again. She would watch them with a small smile on her face, not wishful that it was her that was flying with then but simply content with admiring them. She would spent almost the whole afternoon just sitting there looking at they birds in the sky, until the sun began to set low and the birds started returning to their nests. She would get up from the bench and would walk back into the house, closing the doors. Until the next day. It was only until she was in the house where the contentness turned into melancholy. It was the kind of melancholy where one didn’t feel sad because of any particular circumstance, it was the kind that was simply felt because you wanted more. And she wanted nothing more but to be free like the birds who soared above her. But then she’d remember that even their freedom was limited. Altough they had the sky; endless, boundless, limitless, they eventually had to return down to the ground. And that scared her more than anything. Because if she was stuck here in this cycle of school, home, studying then the birds were stuck in the cycle of fly, land and take off. They could never simply carry on and keep moving forward, they had to come down at some point. Everything and everyone was the same. Limited to what had been assigned to them, forced to go through the same thing, day after day with no reprieve. The only finalty they had that it would end was death. And what then? What after death? Would there be change, would she become something else in death? Would there be anything after death? The afterlife that priests, imams, rabbis and gurus spoke of? She yearned for an answer but could find none. So she resigned herself to a life of not knowing, and continued her almost routine. Watching the birds soar and dive above her in the sky, a small smile on her face. Lost in that endless, expansive blue.