All summer long, as I watched my sociable little swallows raise their family, there was another family of birds, much shyer, quietly doing the same in another nest hidden away somewhere in the trees around our yard. Nearly every day, I’d glimpse a flash of brilliant blue as they were busy caring for their brood—and eventually we’d see the whole family out learning how to fly.
They never let me get close enough for a picture, much as I would have liked one, and now they’re all gone, headed for the south to flee the coming snow. But while I was out taking photos of the sunset the other day, I happened to glance down at the ground and was delighted to discover that one of them had left me this shining sapphire of a goodbye gift.
It was like a lovely little promise. We’ll be back! I tucked it carefully away to remind myself in the midst of the coming winter that this was true.
“…the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration…” (Jeremiah 8:7)
And so, until next spring, lovely bluebirds!