The swallows are back! I'm not sure why, but I always get rather excited when the swallows arrive back in Spring. Part of my excitement is actually wonder ... wonder that these tiny little birds are able to make such a long journey all the way back home to Canada from their winter sojourn in South America. Part of it is just the plain joy in knowing that these birds come back year-after-year to the exact same spot to nest! In other words, they like our home, and by association I've decided that means they like us too. And I suppose if I'm being totally honest, another reason I get excited is that these birds eat tons of bugs, and anyone who helps get rid of mosquitoes and black flies from my yard is definitely a friend of mine!
When I see the first few swallows arrive, I often wonder if they get excited inside when they finally make it back home and find the same structures that have been here for generations, and the same family co-existing in their space. Do they worry, while they're flying all those miles, wondering if the barn they've been nesting in for generations untold will suddenly be gone? Do they wonder if new owners will have moved in who won't appreciate swallows making their messy nests in the eaves and cubbyholes of the barn? Or do they just fly happily along, content that the building that has stood since 1876 on the particular plot of land I call home, and that has provided their ancestors with shelter for so many generations, will continue to do so for at least another couple of hundred years.
Right now when I come home, I am greeted by the most beautiful sight.
The crabapple trees that line are driveway are in full bloom and their rose-coloured petals are scattered across our driveway, welcoming me home like a bride whose path has been decorated by nature itself.
I always love coming home, because I have felt at home in our house from the moment we got married. In fact, when I knew Ed was going to propose to me, I asked him to propose in our kitchen. Why? Well, I just wanted to start things off right from the first in our home - in the privacy of its embrace, in the sturdiness of this well-built brick farm house that has stood the test of time. So it is here that he proposed, one room over from where I now sit with my laptop. And yes, later that day, he did take me up for a surprise helicopter ride and surprised me with flowers. But it was here in our house, that we started our journey together towards marriage. When I come home, it is to this place of safety, of security, of love, and of endurance. And for a brief few weeks in Spring, it is a place that welcomes me with a pink petal-lined driveway, with the enveloping scent of our many lilacs, and the twittery sound of barn swallows crying with joy as they swoop through the air, happy to be home.