She sat, silent, wrapped from head to toe in thick plastic sheeting, a patchwork quilt of tarps and bags and duct tape. For hours she sat and watched, her silent meditation broken only by the need to eat. With slow, subtle movements, she picked apart a morsel of coarse bread, feeding herself with one hand while sprinkling fine crumbs into the river with the other. When she had eaten, she sat and watched again.
She watched ducks and geese land on the rippling water, saw them sit and preen before labouring back into the air. She saw cranes and herons descend to the river banks, their skeletal outlines soon lost in the jumble of felled trees and exposed roots. She watched small streams trickling through the steep woodland that coated the edge of the valley, the torrent seeming to grow faster and stronger, minute by minute. Eventually they’d tear away a part of the hillside, sending dirt and moss and rotten branches tumbling into the river below. She watched hardy falcons pirouette and wheel through the drenched air. She watched the rain fall and fall and fall, without once breaking its steady cadence.