Barnless Swallows

A Fierce Practice 3 10 17

This morning's radio voice announced the barn swallows have been sighted in Texas and Alabamathe signs of spring are starting to appear. Will my barn swallows come back to find they no longer have a barn? Or did they permanently pack their winged bags and move to more reliable shelter when the first barn boards came down last June? Will they make little nests in the remaining Make Time lean-to? Will the new garage be up in time to welcome their small mud nests? Shall I always leave the sliding door cracked for their come-and-go flightiness? How long will it take for them to migrate from Texas up north to Southern Wisconsin?

The spring comes on so fast here. We wait, eternally, and then it's as if all at once it arrives. Bringing chores and green and growth and life so quickly. Sometimes too quickly to attend to all of it mindfully. Grasping at the backlog of things that just couldn't have been done any earlier, until her proper arrival. In the haste of it, of keeping forward progress and checking things off the list, I forget about the barn swallows. Until that first morning I slide the barn door open to notice my tiny gasp as they flitter and scatter out of the barn. A tiny panic. A small surprise. As if they were hear all along. And as if I didn't even know how desperately I awaited their return.

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