VIDEO: Young Swans Meeting

I often get inspiration from bird watching.  Jesus told us to “Look at the birds of the air.”

I was pleasantly surprised on Sunday evening near dusk.  I was returning home along the River Quoile when I noticed a gathering of swans in a bend of the river.  I stopped the car and scrambled out to investigate.  I had never seen such a large flock of swans there before.

Young adult swans were having a evening together.  Circling, resting, washing, dipping, sailing, hissing, eating, cleaning, chirping, doing things swans do.  Apparently at these get togethers the young adults chose life partners and start a family together the next spring.

The male and female swans mate for life.  About eight eggs are laid and hatched.  In the Downpatrick area I have seen families of swans up to seven fully reared young.  At about a year the cygnets leave the parents and join the flock of other single swans.  When the swans are four years old they are mature to pair off and make a nest of their own.  They have to find a new territory to rear their young in safety.

It was timely for me to come upon this scene.  My daughter is leaving home to travel to Canada this week.  Another son will leave soon.

Seeing the young swans together reminded me that it is the natural process of life for young to leave their parents and meet other young people of their age.  My grown children will start out in their lives and meet his or her life partner and start a family of their own.

Pens and Pencils.


I bought a writing pad and envelopes recently.

These items connect me with

imagethe past when I remember my mother writing a letter to her daughter who had left home.  She had sent many letters to her leaving children after that.  She would have looked out for the postman to see if there was a response to her letters, a longing for a demonstration of love to be returned to her.

I enjoy getting a hand written letter that the postman brings. At a Christmas event my sister gave her siblings hand written letters we had sent to her forty years ago.  They brought back memories, jogged the mind to remember past events, and produced a few tears.

I set the writing pad and envelopes in my writing bureau, knowing I will be inspired to use them, someday.  That “someday” was this morning.  I have just written a hand written letter to my friend, whose phone is not reliable.  And even if it is working she often does not answer it.

Very often an elderly relative appreciates a hand written letter or card.  They are not able to connect with Facebook or e mail, the modern way of communication.

When my children were at home it was difficult to find a pen when one needed it to make a note to buy an item or when my husband needed one.  The pens always circulated into bedrooms and under beds.  No matter how many pens were left in a holder to keep them together, it would have to be refilled often.

Now the pens stay in the overcrowded holder.  My husband would forget the children are not here any longer, and would include a packet of pens in the shopping when they are on offer.  He cannot pass a bargain.

Our first Christmas card this season was from our son Jacob.  It was sealed on the outside with wax.  He wrote down thoughts from the heart to his mum and dad on the beautiful card.  I found out later he had sent a hand written card to each of his family at Christmas time, especially to those who live in other countries.   He is not a fan of Facebook.  I still have his card on the mantle piece of the fireplace.

I bought some of my children fountain pens this Christmas.  I remember using one for all my school work.  The teachers were very careful to make sure we had neat hand writing using an ink filled pen.  Some traditions are returning.

What Happened When My Second Son Left Home to go to Canada

It is a month now since a second son left home to work in Canada.
Isaac, my twelfth child and seventh son, graduated from University of Ulster with a degree in Public Relations.  The twelfth child to get a university degree in our family.
He worked hard and was diligent in his studies.
His graduation ceremony was in the morning and he started his journey to Vancouver that night.
Isaac desired to go to Canada again but he was not sure when to leave.
He had secured the important two year visa.
He had been given a token for 500 dollars towards a flight to Canada after he helped an unruly passenger on his last trip.
He looked at flight prices at the end of June.
After the third of July the prices to Canada went up.
He was able to book a flight on the third of July, the day of his graduation, and the price was covered by the token.
We had a great day celebrating with family but all too soon he was away.
I returned home that evening with the celebration balloons, which are a bit deflated now.
A bit like the way my heart was feeling.
Over the next few days I was very tearful when I remembered Isaac.
The car mats were all that was left of his car.
His football gear was left in his room.
Would he wear the Downpatrick shirt again?
The towels on the floor of the bathroom and the empty bottle of aftershave were other memories.
Isaac had lived at home for the past year and was a great support to my husband and I.
Isaac means laughter.  He brought joy and comfort to us.  He helped us both with IT skills.
He helped with the house move.  He got on well with other family members.
He helped keep the home fires burning over the winter.
He helped kept our home warm as well as our hearts.
After Isaac left we both were a bit down.
We both suffer silently our pain of two sons leaving home to work in Canada within a month of each other.

In Genesis 3 v 16

Because of disobedience, God said to Eve, “I will greatly increase thy labour pain and thy child bearing.  And in pain will you bring forth sons.”

I believe this scripture means one will have pain not only in having children but also in rearing children.  Hence the heartache of separation after rearing children.
My husband spent some time making a photo album of the graduation day.
We remembered Isaac as we looked at the photos.
God comforted our hearts and the pain has gone.
It is now their time to make their way in live.  Like the young birds they have to leave the nest.
It is the way of life.  We lay down our lives as parents to give life to our children.
I know God has good plans for Isaac.
I am proud of him.
He will prosper whatever he puts his hand to.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11-13‬ NLT)