Perhaps the biggest gift that life on the farm has given to me
is the ability to observe the natural world on a daily basis.
Being present each and every day to witness the subtle nuances of nature
is a joy that most people don't have.
Let's face it, life is slower here.
We live more by the sun than the clock and are governed by the whims of the seasons.
All summer long I have observed the habits of our resident barn swallows.
They arrive in April and immediately busy themselves with setting up housekeeping.
If their mud nests are left undisturbed from the previous season,
they will do a little redecorating and resume occupancy.
During the summer months they raise two sets of juveniles.
I have the privilege of witnessing this process each day as I work around the barn.
The barn swallows' life, I have noticed, centers around child care....
with a great deal of time spent dive-bombing the barn cats
and squawking their warnings.
Yesterday there was a decided difference, however.
Upon inspection of the nest, the (fully grown) babies were gone.
As I drove around the farm, I was aware of this particular behavior....
Every August, the barn swallows and tree swallows begin congregating on the electric wires.
They perch there each day,
seemingly conversing about the arduous journey ahead of them.
For, you see, it is in the coming days that they all leave and head to South America for the winter.
It's hard to believe that we are heading into this season of migration so soon.
And yet, summer marches on towards autumn.
I can't help but think, when I watch the sadness and turmoil of this world as the news reports,
that if we all spent a little more time appreciating the wonders and miracles
of the world around us....
we might try a little harder to make this world a better place.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to see the world through this particular lens!