I meant to do my work today, but the baby swallows called me to the porch. They poke their downy heads out of the round door of their cozy house and chirp loudly as they wait for their mama to swoop in with tasty morsel.
The babies aren’t bothered by my nosy watch and I keep my distance so I don’t upset the parents. This house has been hanging on my shed for over twenty years, empty of any inhabitants until last year when a swallow family claimed it. The paint has faded and chipped, but they don’t care about that. Is this the same family returned, as the swallows do to San Juan Capistrano? I don’t know and I guess it doesn’t matter, does it? I have enjoyed watching the adults glide across my backyard and zoom into the small opening. Look at the swallow as she swoops and soars. She’s like a tiny orca of the sky. Shiny black back that glistens violet blue in the sun and a smooth white belly… tiny orca! I love hearing the first faint peep, peeps, knowing there are small, featherless hatchlings growing inside. Now, as they are about to fledge, I just can’t leave my porch. In a day or two I will have an empty nest, a quiet house.
That’s the way it goes, isn’t it? We have our young, nourish them and keep them safe until it’s time for them to spread their wings and soar. My kids left their cozy nest for nests of their own and are raising their own fledglings now. I like to think we are connected by a thread as thin and tough as a spiders silk so they can always find their way home. The circle of life is infinite even though our lives are finite. We live and learn and grow as time keeps ticking away. It makes me think of an old Mary Engelbreit card that read, “You’re always the same age inside.” The view is the back of a chubby grandma looking in a mirror reflecting a pretty young woman. I love that image, while I laugh to realize that’s me to a “T”!
I will enjoy these summer visitors and the memories of the warm, breeze will cheer me on cold winter days. The one certainty in this crazy world is that summer will turn to fall, will turn to winter, will turn to spring, and I will watch for new residents as I add another ring to the tree of my life…