A couple of months ago already they left Inis Meáin. And so they did last year and the year before and many, many years before those, as well. No matter the weather. They just went, as they will do the years to come too, when time is there. They sense when to have to take off. There is an inner clock at them when to leave for the journey of thousands of miles to the south to hibernate.
There is always a sort of excitement felt on the Island around the time the last of them will be leaving either today or tomorrow. “Did you still see them today?” is the daily question. On one hand I feel a relieve when they actually haven’t been seen for a while. On the other hand, when they really have left, there is sadness as well; it means winter is on her way now.
This year a period of silence began with the departure of the tiny and active swallows. And… I missed them. I missed their warbling and their liveliness. Having them around there is always a performance to be enjoyed: a pretty hassle between them “quarreling” about one’s place there is on the wire, the chasing after one another or the enjoyment of watching them balancing in the sky, for example. Well, one day it stopped abruptly.
Winter came and the day get shorter every day. And with the shortening of the days there is sometimes more darkness as well. There are days now which have only a few hours of daylight really. Then…some days ago there was a turnaround in the atmosphere. Leaving the house just before the breaking of the night into the morning I heard the lovely sound of a smólach (thrush) coming from a shrub across the road. It was pure, transparant and airy as if it came from worlds beyond bringing a shred of the coming season. It seemed to tell: “have patience and wait a little longer, spring is coming soon”. A moment later there was an answer: the sky coloured in beautiful pink shades.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.