Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How many swallows made our summer?


Once again the swallows came back to nest on our terrace. Even though we leave the two nests from last year just in case they use them, once again they set to work from scratch and raised five chicks in their first nest. There are now four hungry babies in nest number two. So this year it will be 11 swallows who have made our summer, two parents and 9 babies. Soon this second brood will be leaving us and we wish them bon voyage. Hopefully they will return next year.

A fond adieu

We recently said goodbye to two of the members of the club of the third age -  a sister and brother who died within a fortnight of each other. The second was a very sudden, unexpected loss. The two funerals saw churches full to bursting as whole communities came to say a fond farewell.

We have experienced many village funerals in our fifteen years here and are always touched by how many people attend. This last one was even more significant to me as I sat and watched so many people showing their love and friendship in such a loving way. A big family of four children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren remembered a life that was full. A man who worked hard as a farmer all his life and who also gave time to serve the community in many ways. I couldn't help thinking of the contrast this life had with that of those who put profit before community and measure people'e worth by what they possess.  Money cannot buy the love that was shown at these funerals and I feel blessed to have known both these gentle people.

Simple things

Lots of things happening in the world at the moment are making me sad and I am comforting myself by thinking of the simple things that make life good. The swallows, good friends, a caring family, my garden and good health.

When I was a girl it was the craze to have an autograph book and I remember my aunty Janie writing a verse in it which I now know is from Charles Kingsley's poem 'Youth A Farewell'``

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;  
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast forever
            One grand, sweet song.

Our own sweet song

Some photos taken recently around our home by one of our daughters - the simple things that help make our life a sweeter song.

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