“The season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV)
It is the 29 th April today in Co Down, Ireland. I was pleasantly surprised to see a swallow swoop towards my window this morning. Hooray the swallows have arrived. It is a new season. There is a different song outside. Robins thrill, doves coo, chaffinches chirrup as they call to their mates in the warm mornings. It will be safe to start building nests to prepare for having their young.
The migrant birds are on the move. The Brent Geese that had visited with us since September left the shore below while I was away in Scotland. When they arrive in September they look like ducks. They have shed weight while rearing their young in the Tundra in Northern Canada and have used up energy flying thousands of miles to our shores. The Brent Geese come to the shores of Strangford Lough to feed on Eel grass. By April they have grown and fattened up. They look like geese. When the new season comes they fly away. I miss them. Some geese came to feed and drink each morning below at a spring of water that joins the sea water lough. I would hear their throaty calls from my room.
Jesus tells us to take the birds as our example and not to worry but seek first his kingdom.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)
I was shaken from my melancholy when I noticed the swallow this morning. I went to share with my husband , “The swallows have arrived”. It was an unexpected visitor. He has flown here thousands of miles from South Africa. He has made it as his family before him did. What a feat. Such a small bird can fly such a long way.
He had no luggage with him. No belongings. No passport. He has no purse. He is free to fly over borders and nations. He is no threat to anyone. God had prepared a place for him in the barn behind our house. He will eat the food and drink the water here. He is welcome. He has brought joy to me. The singing has come to our land.
I watched a nature program about the flights of migrant birds. On the swallows’ journey up North they stop off at different points to feed and rest for the next stage. One stopover is by a lake. The swallows arrive there just when millions of flies hatch out. The air is dark with the flies. The swallows swoop in and out of the cloud of flies and have a feast. This is another example of God providing for the birds of the air. I rejoice to see God’s timing and provision for the birds of the air. Our Creator and Father looks after all his Creation. I marvel in his Glory. I see his Glory in Creation.
The swallows song will join with the resident birds in the dawn chorus. They will build their nests and rear their young in the barns behind where we live.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. (Psalm 84:3 NIV)
I will hear a different sound in the morning. Instead of the Brent Geese’s call, there will be the chirping of the swallows on the wire.