January 30, 2013

When the swallows leave

Easter moon rise and orbs over the herb garden

It’s been said: “that if you have swallows living on your property, you will also have bats.” Whoever penned this saying is absolutely correct, as for the past thirty-three years we’ve lived in the country, we’ve had both.

Currently we have a pair of swallows living in their mud house in our garage. I’ve had to Reiki a couple fledgelings when they’ve fallen from their nest in the past. I’m so accustomed to their presence that I feel an absolute sense of devastation when they leave.

I love watching my feathered friends swoop and dive in the air, catching insects while I have my breakfast on the veranda every morning. I particularly enjoy watching them at dusk, when the whole atmosphere takes on an almost surreal feeling when I sense something vibrant in the air. It’s absolutely weird, how one minute I know I’m watching swallows but when I look closely they’ve shape-shifted into bats, almost right before my eyes. The exact time is never evident when the swallows swoop off to their nest and their wheeling flight overhead is replaced by the bats.

My fascination with swallows goes back to my childhood. Growing up in suburban Bez Valley, my brother used to watch these migrating birds, during our Easter school break, as they congregated on the overhead wires, with much flapping of wings and twittering to each other. We used to pretend that we could interpret what they were saying. Stuff like: “Hi Joe, did you pack your toothbrush?” as each bird arrived and took their place at the end of the line, or “why are you so late?” as the stragglers fought for a perch on the wire. This went on for a while, and there seemed to be some of the birds who were in charge of the whole operation as they kept up a tirade of twittering, perhaps they were giving flight instructions for the long journey ahead.

Eventually they rose in unison, a gigantic swirling mass ascending higher and higher heavenwards.  We would watch them until they became a tiny black dot in the sky, leaving me with a deep sense of sadness. 

Some years later when I began studying French at school, I was amused with a story in my French Manual called “Le depart des Hirondelles” – (the swallow’s departure).
The author gave a vivid description of how the swallows congregated on the overhead wires, telling how some birds got a scolding for being late and how they fought for a place on the wire causing others to loose their place. It was quite funny and certainly left me with a feeling of déjà vu.

Winter is not my favourite season. And the sadness I feel when the swallows leave, heralds the end of wonderful long sunny days and warm nights, and the looming approach of cold, bleak winter days. 

But in April last year the swallow’s leave took on an even deeper meaning of devastation for me. I knew their departure was imminent as they began perching along the power lines, which they usually do a few days before they migrate. 

I’d been nursing my ailing 93 year old mother for the past couple of months and she passed away on the 4th of April. We knew her time to leave was close, but one is never really prepared for the actual parting and the grief that accompanies it. So it was with what felt like a heavy lump of lead in my chest, that I suddenly remembered the swallows. As soon as I entered the garage, there was no sense of their presence, and I knew they too, had gone. The synchronicity these two occurrences left me wondering if they were linked in any way with the Soul’s departure, as birds are considered messengers of the Spirit World.

Just after dusk an evening or two later  I was outside, obviously having no swallows to watch, so  I watched instead the brilliant Easter moon rise and felt compelled to take  photos. I was so surprised to see a number of orbs in the photos. Considered to be spirit manifestation captured on camera – I knew they’re were messages from Spirit.

A golden orb over the garden path...
a sign from my departed mother
I’m certain the big one in the pathway is from my Mom, I felt it was her way of saying “don’t worry about me, I’m fine.”

Of course the swallows returned once more to their little mud home the following October. The seasonal wheel continues to turn and soon it will time for them to follow the sun once more.

Interesting article on orbs here.

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