Return of the Swallows
Watercolour on paper, 2023
When the swallows return from over-wintering in Africa, it's a cause for celebration and a sure sign that summer is really here! Suddenly they're back, swooping and chattering to and fro across the garden. My joy is mixed with relief and awe, that they've survived another migration, given the odds stacked against that being possible. It's so miraculous!
And nowadays with the changing climate and diminishing insect populations, even more amazing that somehow they are finding a way to navigate, adapt and survive, albeit in smaller numbers.
So I held a prayer of gratitude gently in my heart when I began painting this mandala, at that threshold in the year of immense possibility:
When Dandelion and Cleavers have cleansed the last wisps of winter away
Nettle and wild garlic are restoring spring vitality
And the frothy blossoms of crab apple, hawthorn and elder light up the landscape so maginificently, to welcome in the Summer.
And the prayer contained a blessing, wrapped as subtly as the seeds promised by those beautiful flowers:
May It Always Be So.
May the swallows continue to find their way back to us, year after year.
May the keepers of the lands and skies tend to the needs of soil and water and air in such a way as to create the best possible chance for thriving life for all beings.
May we be humble and keen to learn how best to do this, so the rhythm of the sacred dance of seasons may go on.