I have a friend, an owl friend.
He lives on the roof opposite us. I see him sitting up there, his head just peeking out over the lip of the roof. Sometimes he sits on the roof's satellite dish. Usually he sits there in the morning or as dusk is falling, and his silhouette stands out black against the periwinkle sky.
I love looking for my friend Owl. I check for him when I open or close my curtains. When I wake up in the morning, I automatically peek the crack in the curtains to see if my he's there.
We don't see much nature here in Tianjin. Even bugs are pretty special. Seeing my friend Owl makes me feel like I'm watching the National Geographic channel.
At night I lie in bed and listen to my friend Owl. His call is a short, low whistle. Not a hoot at all.
Tonight I had a wonderful surprise. I came into my bedroom, the curtains were open, the sky was fading from blue to black, like a bad bruise, and the first thing I saw was my owl sitting on the satellite dish ... with his mate.
Maybe I've been watching two owls all the time and didn't know it.
I've always been a bit sad that my friend Owl was alone. When I'd hear him calling in the night, it sounded lonesome; the sound evaporating into the cold night air.
Now, I know he's been calling to someone. And someone answered.