Something’s not right. There’s something missing. Those were my immediate thoughts when I opened my eyes and welcomed a new day. Lying still and wondering what was wrong, immediately I became aware that it was way too quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I like silence, in fact I relish quiet. But a joyful sound was not here today. What was missing from my usual wakening moments? It was quite lonely waking to such eerie silence and the missing element was disturbing, sad even. They had left. They have gone. The swallows had begun their journey north. Only yesterday my verandah had been filled with swift flying antics, cheerful songs and chatter. Outside the blue sky had still been filled with the swallows and their cheerful displays of acrobatic air shows.
Going out onto my verandah and looking into the blue heavens, it was decidedly empty. My heart sank and an empty feeling in my tummy confirmed that their departure was real. Over the past month, the verandah had been a hive of industry! With remarkable skill they had made upgrades to their self – build penthouse suite outside my bedroom window corner. It had been astounding to watch how certain parts were demolished and filled in again and now the entrance was grander than before, a home ready for their return. They would be six months of anxiously waiting for my feathered family to come home. Six months seems too long.
Three babies had been successfully raised during their time here. Parenting had been shared and commitment to their young ones had been a life lesson I wished many human parents would adopt. The young ones were fed, allowed to peep out of the nest from time to time and then they learned to fly and that was when the songs of praise and gratitude had become a sound that resounded into the skies in the mornings and also during the days. The number of swallows taking seats on the backs of my simple chairs, had been a sight valued beyond measure.
Missy, my magnificent rescue cat, had never interfered in their routines and we lived together harmoniously. The only time when tail swishing ensued, was when the swallows ventured into the living room, perched on the lampshade and admired themselves in the mirror. Missy considered that an invasion of privacy and a bit of a cheek! I would remind her that they were welcome family and that she should get over it as no one would ever, ever take her place. She would blink and understood that she could relax, as she was still number one!
Far in the distance I eventually heard the song of a turtle dove. Had the song been there all the time? Had I grown too accustomed to the doorstep songs of my swallows? I don’t know. But I remembered a chapter I wrote in my book : Sitting in His Presence and reminded myself that the gentle song of the turtle dove is a sure sound of peace, a reminder that God had not left, He was still ever present. I sat a while and gave thanks for the still, small voice of the Saviour. I took a decision, I would settle to listen to the voice of the Shepherd King. I believe He reminded me : ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10 : 27
I will wait patiently for the swallows to return.