Friday, July 03, 2015

The Swallows of Summer

At the end of last summer, cliff (or mud) swallows suddenly showed up on our property and built these amazing mud nests under the peaks of our chicken coop and the garage. Eight nests in all and now our little bit of sky is filled constantly with the chirps and swoops of swallows.
I love it. Ospreys and swallows, finches and blue jays. Crow, crow, crows! Bring on the birds.
Naturally, I wondered if the arrival of these insect-eating birds meant something...
In my handy-dandy reference book, Animal Speak, by the late Ted Andrews, I learned that there are quite a few legends and tales attached to swallows. First of all, swallows always have been favoured as the bird that heralds the arrival of summer. But for my purposes, it was interesting to read that a swallow is the symbol for protection, and for proper perspective.
"Swallows that nest near your home will help control pesky insects, reflecting a subtle protection of the home. If a swallow shows up in your life, what does that say about the pesky insects in your life?"
Oh, nice question! What or who do we need to be protected from?
The graceful way a swallow flies is an indication that perhaps a person now living with swallows needs to rise above what is going on in his or her life and find a new perspective. "You are weakest in solving problems when you do not distance yourself from them. A distance will help you to see clearly how to strengthen and protect yourself from others."
After reading the passage about swallows, I went outside and stood under their nests. They flew out of their nests and I watched them flit through the air for awhile, listened to their chirping. Then I held my arms out wide and said, "Thank you for protecting our home."

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