Sunday, November 9, 2008

Swallow Swarm

They are moving as one, a cloud, each vapor particle is another bit of life that makes up the swarm. They gather together and you cannot follow the movement of just one for very long before it is lost back into the amorphous movement of the whole. The fluttering mass is made up of golondrinas: swallows. Flittering beings with crisp white bellies and shimmering green backs. I am wading across the pond and I notice the light is starting to slant at the whisper of the turning autumn and the grasses at the edge are lit golden. When the last ducks fly away, I begin to hear them. Their light, soft calls catch the breeze, and get lost in it. Looking toward the horizons, you won't see them at first, not until your eyes adjust to the layerless depths of a bright blue sky do you see the specks as they converge. Suddenly you draw a long breath in anticipation and excitement at what is about to wash over you: they are arriving. They follow an invisible current and you stand still taking in the experience of so many creatures moving over you. They splash and dip, twist and swell in waterfalls of movement. They drop toward the water's reflective surface to take a thousand tiny sips before swirling back up into the sky and you are surprised at how so many birds can create such peace inside of you. They are numbering in the thousands and yet their calls are still soft, intermittent. It would be easy to never know they were there if you didn't look to the skies as a habit the way I do. [photo courtesy of Amanda Hackney]


  1. glad you're writing again...i'm so glad i got to witness the swallow was truely awesome

  2. Hey, Bird Woman, I love your writing. May I come along with you and be a wanderer for all the rest of our lives?

    Do you ever wonder what the passenger pigeons must have been like? A huge, stinking, deafening, sky-darkening celebration of life.

    I hope we'll see you at Christmas.

  3. i think i am feeling something like what you must have felt in the rush of the swallow swarm but it is your words that give me such a sensation!

    i mean "the light is starting to slant at the whisper of the turning autumn and the grasses at the edge are lit golden"???

    did you ever write something about that mating hawk dance that is forever burned in my memory?


I'd love to hear what you think, go on ahead and slap some words down!