In the morning, they gather in the park outside my office window. They walk in groups, elderly Chinese people, in loose cotton clothes, comfortable shoes. Sometimes, when I'm late, I'll rush down the long white hallway and I'll pass a pair of women holding shopping bags, sneaking in to use the bathroom.

The courtyard is where they practice T'ai Chi. They are quiet birds, they balance on one leg, then another. I sit at my desk. The green light on my phone blinks, telling me that I have voice mail. The cherry blossoms are in bloom.

In the morning, before I go to work, I sit in my garden at the barbecue table someone has carved the name Michelle in. I sit there and I breathe in the native bleeding heart, the spreading johnny jump up, the echanacia I can't keep the snails from. I breathe in the Chinese women in their soft shoes, the shopping bags resting beside them, the airy trails they make in the sky with their hands.