Swallows and Summer


The river was quiet, at least as still as a river could be with an undercurrent hidden deep below the mirror surface. Her lazy backwater overcast with the green bloom of a heated season where the bullhead waterlilies had given way to the yellow tinted pads and the marsh grasses bending with pregnant seed-heads in the heavy unmoving air. Plenty of insects drifted in aimless patterns, dotting a sky washed in the colors of a setting sun. Pinks. Blushing rose. Vermillion hidden behind the island of trees along the horizon. But the swallows have left.


I have stood on this bridge many mornings and many twilights and every spring I ‘fly’ with the baby swallows as they leave their nests to try out their wings for the very first time, oblivious to the thought of failure and the river below them.


On this August evening the little mud nests are empty, the skies are void of the swallow’s dance among the insects. Summer is waning.


This will be upsetting news for some, not so much for me. I like variety, I like the marking of time by Mother Earth and the change she creates. Summer ends, autumn arrives no matter how we want it to be otherwise. It reminds me not to hang on too tight to the past because life is a fluid dance and one must move with the earth and the seasons if one wants to get the most out of our stay here. It does not benefit to belabor what was or what might be…or the river below. It’s better to have faith and fly when the time dictates.


But don’t worry. There is plenty of summer yet to be had. Many beautiful evenings await to enjoy a walk as the shadows grow long or partake in a barbeque with friends or picnic at the lakeshore. There will yet be days of ice creams and watermelons to be consumed by children taking a break from racing through the sprinklers. Lawn mowers will still punctuate the neighborhoods.  


This is just a reminder, a nod to those unrequited dreams of summer get-togethers or some summer projects that you thought you had plenty of time left to finish, plenty of time to plan, it is best get at them.


Because the swallows have left and summer is waning.


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