I have been watching my swallows at home,
I say ‘my’ as I feel very proprietorial towards them, I have witnessed the arrival of the swallows in the spring, the building of their nests, the hatching of the chicks and their growth over the summer into fledglings. They have attended flying school and I have observed their daily progress from their first tentative flying solos, hesitant and awkward, to becoming a proficient squadron, aligned in regimental order along the telephone wires and then departing on their individual missions, dancing, swooping, ducking and diving, skimming the meadows. Yesterday evening as I walked my dogs I saw them again, I didn’t realise it was for the last time, a cloud of swallows in the sky, as the shafts of late autumnal sunshine moved across the Welsh landcape, spotlighting patches of verdant pasture. The joyful swoopings and playful aerial acrobatics of the swallows lifts your heart and you can’t help but feel happy. This morning I awoke to a different day, the grey Welsh damp drizzle and heavy clouded skies and not a swallow in sight. They have gone and I never said goodbye.