There is a thick mist in the valley as drink my tea on the hilltop early this morning and a strong sweet smell of mild Autumn. The birds are in fine fettle and it gladdens my heart to see the swallows still here.
Every day that they I see them I feel grateful, they represent much to me. The repairers. The patchers of holes, the pluggers of leaks…very much needed at the moment and tinged with a hint of sadness as I know their day is near. Perhaps they can take my heavy heartedness with them.
This is my perfect swallow picture that lives in my kitchen. It's by local artist Cat Frampton. You can find her on twitter.com/cat_frampton and with the Manaton makers as part of the upcoming Devon Open Studios.
|They also sit outside my back door.|
By later in the day they are starting to gather, preen and prepare. I am hoping that the extra long season will have stood them in good stead for a stronger flight home. there have been fewer and fewer these last years.
|later in the day the gathering starts.|
I find myself looking forwards to the morning, when I sneak out to the hill alone, leaving my absence note on the stairs. To me it is the ultimate hill for flight, it's steep and a hill ringed basin drops abruptly below. It is the hill on which I learnt to fly as a child. It is where I learnt to fly in my dreams for every year since I can remember. It is where my son and I fly the kite, where we toboggan at great speed (and sometimes even ski!) It is where you can walk with your head level with the birds and where I used to share my after school sandwiches with a giant raven called Jojo.
|another card that graces my kitchen by Exeter artist Cathy King|
I feel inspired to add my a poem by my son here. It seems so familiar to me. How flying was to me as a child and then again as an adult when first learning to fly a very small helicopter in New Zealand. We flew out over the coast to do an emergency engine cut at the beach. It was the most extraordinary experience of my life, dropping to the sand on an isolated beach with giant sea lions for company, hovering up the face of a cliff inside something akin to a miniature glass dragonfly and skimming the surface of the ocean, flying for mile after mile just 10 foot above the surface, almost face down. All I could say was"oh my god, it's just like my dreams!"
And that, my friends, is why I love flying so much. ( I quite like Lego too)