Return to me

swallows at CapistranoIs it true or not? Do the swallows return to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano in California every year on March 19, or not? What apparently is true, despite all the publicity and a festival devoted to the cause, is that not very many of them stop at the Mission’s crumbling buildings on their pilgrimage from South America anymore. Whether this is due to environmental changes or development in the area that has destroyed the plants and insects they feed on isn’t entirely clear. But one skeptic blog likened the story to all those “miracles” that the religious retell year after year – fishes and loaves and all that nonsense. Just not true, the blogger says. Which makes me ask the same question I’ve asked many times before – does it matter? “Truthiness” is often good enough for me when something of joy or beauty is the result. A life of just the facts would border on hopeless. I’ve never been to San Juan Capistrano, but I’d like to hold on to the hope this March 19 that the swallows will return and build their nests in the Mission, and sing for all those who have gathered there. And if hope isn’t enough, then read more about one scientist’s efforts to help the swallows find their way back: Saving the swallows at Mission San Juan Capistrano

Better yet, sit back and listen to this, and think of what you hope will return to you.





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3 Responses to Return to me

  1. It always is a perilous journey from the life of the soul to the life of the world. The truth is this journey and the miracle happens when it is successful and there is no derailment. And yet, I tend to think, the miracle often happens after the derailment in midair, when someone comes limping in from the clouds of dream and wonder in their hearts, though everyone thinks the truth is a lie and miracles are at an end. In comes the dreamer of midair limping….

  2. Eileen says:

    Well if the swallows never did a single blessed thing but provide a hit for the wonderful Ink Spots, they’ve earned their right to thrive in my opinion — let’s all click our heels and say a prayer for their return!

  3. James Tate says:

    Thank you Sonya for the thoughtful Daily Cup today from St. Alban’s. I must agree with you that “…a life of just the facts would border on the hopeless.” So often I hear students say that they don’t care much for science because of all those facts to learn. But, I think you and I would agree that understanding the spring equinox and its effect on living things is properly celebrated in song and verse, as well as giving us an insight into our humanity and the future of life on earth.
    Thru history, which is an extremely short perspective on life on Earth, there have been many attempts to explain the phenomenon of “springtime.” One of the legends in the case of the Cliff Swallows at the San Juan Capistrano Mission is that the birds built their nests at the Mission after they were evicted from a nearby inn. Like many legends, there might just be some truth to that one. Cliff Swallows have been implicated in bringing unwanted pests (bedbugs and fleas) to the buildings where they build their nests. I know, more than you wanted to hear. (See:
    But the point you make, and with which I agree is that the Spring Equinox brings a balance to daylight and night, and it renews our spirit at least in the Northern Hemisphere of this spaceship Earth. We know that the future will bring us flowers, birdsong, crops, and renewal. But note, that is only true here in the Northern half of earth. My son and his family in Australia are entering fall and have winter to look forward to before they see their spring during the Fall Equinox.
    For centuries the equinox that leads to spring time has been celebrated as a time of fertility, renewed energy and rebirth- think Easter and Passover. Astrologically spring equinox embraces my birth sign of Aries. Perhaps that is why spring is especially important to me. Or, perhaps the reported slightly reduced gravity of the Equinoxes is what seems to lighten my load. Well, that is science again, but it interests me. (See:
    So, this spring I intend to plant seeds, pull weeds, and make new beginnings. I intend to partake fully of the Lenten and Easter Festivities at St. Alban’s. I intend to downsize, do serious spring cleaning, and watch my health. I intend to make my life simpler to allow more time for thoughtful reflection.
    Thank you, again, for your Daily Cup. It stimulated me to write down some of the things I had been planning to do this spring, but had not taken time to finish. But the scientists tell us that time is just an illusion of mankind that doesn’t exist in the world of quantum mechanics. Oh, well. (See: -T8

    Jim Tate, Ancora Imparo (Italian)- I am still learning… Michelangelo

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