The Sound of Returning

IMG_8040.JPGEvery time I drive over the bridge there are more of them there than the last time.

The returning has begun.

In the car, though, you miss the sound of it.  On a blog, you do, too.  There’s just nothing that replaces the physical act of standing on the bridge, leaning into a square wooden beam, and immersing yourself in a few minutes of that wondrous cacophony of honking, quacking and trumpeting.  It’s the music of spring migration, and it’s enough to infuse any year-round resident who has weathered yet one more season of long nights and sub-zero temps with hope.

I heard them chattering in the church foyer last week, too, as the winter birds gathered round, tired faces relaxing into welcoming smiles for these forerunners of the much-anticipated annual migration.  The sound of the returning was never so obvious, however, or so beautiful, than it was in the swelling fullness of the opening hymn.

Welcome back, snowbirds.  It’s good to hear all your happy voices again.

“Even 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)

“For, lo, the winter is past…the time of the singing of birds is come.” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)



Gone Away is the Bluebird

bluebird feather / rejoicing hillsAll 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!