So Lily, my rescue dog and I were having our morning jog around the loop near the beach. It’s been unusually cool with low to no humidity these early spring days, more rain than not, but this morning was sparklingly clear. My son is coming for a few days’ visit (yay!), and I overslept, so with our a.m. constitution, last-minute errands and a few other things I knew we’d be a little pushed.

But we enjoyed the run and as we came up through the town office buildings and walked across the Saturday-empty parking spaces, I spotted it. A tiny fragment of an eggshell. Not sure what kind of bird’s, it was white, faintly dotted brown. Sparrow maybe, or woodthrush.

In my own backyard the former owners had put up a blue bird box with a snake baffle. I hoped there would be occupants this spring but of course no way to know.

Late February I looked over my morning coffee to see a small beaked face peering out of the box. A week or so later, more activity, with nesting materials and much flying in and out. Yesterday afternoon I went out to fill the feeders and as a small, bright blue blur darted past I suddenly heard chaotic tiny cheeps and cries emitting. A family!

So that shell I noticed on our walk. In a few hours’ time it would be crushed by many passers-by’s footsteps to indeterminate powder, blended with the sand.

But I saw it!