It is so quiet. I hear the wind lifting the dry palm leaves and shaking them. It sounds a bit like the rattle Sissy Maggie Mermaid made out of a dried gourd one year. Only bigger. It was a storm rattle. Sissy Maggie stood outside with that rattle and danced for a long while, until a Storm did come to see what all the noise was about. The desert breathed moist that night.

I know the Old Owl is hidden up in the green leaves of the palm, but I cannot see him from where I sit.

I wonder where the others are. For a moment. Then I continue to relish the silence. A tiny whirring bird dips her long beak into one of the pink flowers near the palm tree. Annie, the Woman Who Loves Birds, calls them hummingbirds. I have never heard them hum, only whir.

They are fierce birds. Flecks of the moon, sun, and stars make their feathers iridescent. One of the whirring birds is the color of the mountains. I believe he must know the Old Man and Old Woman of the Mountain, but I have been unable to confirm that.

Annie is the one who gave us this journal to record our daily lives at the Old Mermaids Sanctuary. This does not come natural to most of the Old Mermaids. We don't need a record of the ongoing conversations we have with ourselves and the world. We've kneaded these conversations into our home, our friendships, the land, our community.

Oh look. This whirring bird one has a throat the color of the night sky in summer. I wonder how he convinced the Old Sky to part with those pieces of night. Probably with the same determination that the others used to get pieces of the sun, moon, and stars. Ah, but who would not want to be a decoration at the throat of such a being?

The cover of the journal is made of red-cloth with white and pink stitching. I am not much for words, although the others often seek my advice. I believe the world is always whispering an enchantment to us—to all that exists. Too many useless words might interfere with this magic and then who knows what might unravel?

We must choose our words, our songs, our enchantments carefully so that we are not generating a cacophony but instead toning with the universe, singing a kind of creation lullaby.

Now the mourning birds have come for their daily drink and bath. I had not realized it was so late in this day. I will sit here and watch them. Perhaps I will tell this journal about it another day.

Ahhh, listen to the palm rattle. Someone is dancing up a storm somewhere.

from Mother Star Stupendous Mermaid at the Old Mermaids Sanctuary.

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