The swallows are home from their travels, fountain pen tails inking the sky with stories, polished backs glistening like stars falling from the passing night. They are way too quick to allow me to photograph them but they are making their presence felt, swooping low and daringly along the edge of the patio, their new beginning palpable, summer darting tantalisingly on the cusp of a wingbeat.
The geese have also returned, calling out triumphantly as they appear en-masse from the north, flying majestically beyond the farm’s dry stone walls and on to still island waters, its murky depth awaiting the cackling chaos, reeds bowing and creaking as they thread a shimmering welcome home.
The whin is in flower too, its yellow blossom tattooing shadows, nuzzling the darkness beyond the distant hills, its coconut scent chasing the swallows wake, hitching a ride to the shoreline where it surfs the coolest waves, fragrant spray performing for lapwings peewit peewitting on the marshy water edge.
The lane at the house’s edge is moving, its reckless landscape sloping off in every direction, its panorama alive with magic, the fairies beyond the roots of the hawthorn trees pushing boldly into silvery branches, tiny white heads embroidering the unfettered horizon, wings poised and taut, awaiting earthly form and a brief encounter with mortals on Beltane day.
This world is changing, moving at pace. Its possibilities can be frightening. Its possibilities can also soak the earth and swell the soul. The outcome isn’t always our choice. We’re riding the tide, tasting the mist in our throats, swallowing the future in tiny gasps.
Terrifying and beautiful.
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