The morning Tai Chi by the sea begins, with a lone seagull on the roof, and a lone shag on the boat ramp.
It’s a long boat ramp, with plenty of room. But where does the second shag land? Why, right beside the other one.
Then she decides she would prefer to sit on the other side. So she crosses over,
and flaps her wings to dry them out after swimming and diving for fish
The other shag is unperturbed. She must be used to the fact that they perch together. Its a little bit like the herding instinct that leads humans in an empty carpark to park alongside each other.
It’s friendly and companionable. It must go back to some ancient instinct of safety in numbers.
The newcomer starts preening now, and soon will settle down alongside the other one. Patiently they will rest and dry out in the sun.
Meanwhile I do my Tai Chi moves. As I spread my arms out and draw them back, I think of it as ‘Drying one’s wings’, and as I do the final move, it becomes, ‘patient like a shag’.