Sunday, April 12, 2015
Return of the swallows (#SmallWonder)
The swallows have returned.
I saw them today, swarming from a distance as I stood on the bank of the river slough that tumbles through one of my favorite parks. I saw them, electrifying the sky, dancing with paper wings and split tails through layers of blue and white and charcoal. I saw them, and my heart soared.
I don't know the exact date they left. It must have been sometime in the fall, as looking ahead toward winter, their biological clocks chimed their departure. I'm told that from here, they often migrate south to California, Arizona and Mexico to winter, where food sources are more abundant for songbirds. All I really know is that one day I noticed they were gone. The fields lay still in the parks, the meadows absent of song. And I missed them, these birds that enliven the backdrop of my world. And what am I to them, but a giant form moving through their own cyclical backdrop?
Surely they don't know: I am an enraptured observer. A mysterious relative, bound by something more sacred than DNA. A grateful benefactress of their song and dance across the earth.
They came home by the hundreds and thousands. They came home against fantastic odds, obstacles and hardships I am not privy to, inclement weather conditions and sheer exhaustion. They made it, the ones that filled these skies, and I stood on the ground below witnessing their celebration.
Their dance of wonder.
And it gave me a glimpse of hope.
Joining these words with Kelly and the Small Wonder community.
Also, if you share an appreciation or love for songbirds, I'd like to pass this onto you. There is a brilliant film in its final stages of production, called The Messenger, about the steady decline of songbirds worldwide. Its goal is to raise awareness, to share a glimpse into the beautiful mystery of migration and its challenges, to promote dialogue and actions that may benefit the conservation of songbirds in our world. If you would like to check it out, you can visit this website (click here).