Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Great Return

For the past few days I have been checking to see what spring migrants are returning. Seeing that hummingbirds are marching through Alabama, I cleaned out my feeder and filled it with fresh syrup. I moved a blooming red salvia I kept indoors out as well, for hummingbirds love salvias. As of dusk, they are not here.

Yet late this afternoon, after several hours of working on my porch garden, I heard a familiar chittering call, and looked out to see 6 barn swallows flying around the parking sheds where they nest. It overjoyed me to have lived to another spring to see them. They had ridden north on a powerful south wind. We had gusts today up to 45 miles per hour. Who knows what warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks rode with them. And as the wind will go all night I may see the hummingbirds tomorrow morning.

There is a beautiful story of an ancient poet who recited a poem in which he likened the life of man to that of a swallow coming in from the dark into a great lighted Hall and flying too soon out into the dark again. We should cherish each spring we see. Be glad for every day we are priveleged to live.

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