At the end of our Scottish roadtrip this year we spent a few days at the tip of the Kintyre Peninsula in Southend at the delightfully quirky and remote Lifeboat Studio.
After driving for 800 miles and visiting some fantastic places, that sense of a journey coming to an end (although we still had 300 miles to drove home!) was palpable as we sat that Thursday afternoon, taking in the sea view after a few hours out walking. Our minds were subconsciously already thinking about the journey home, had we got everyone presents, when should we fill up, where was the dirty washing?
As we sat there and talked away the afternoon in the sun, around us a family of Swallows kept us company, delightfully chirruping away treating us to dazzling display of aerobatics as they swooped and chased each other around the eaves of the building.
Every so often one would land and preen itself in the glorious sunshine giving a chance to look at the sparkling colours and sheen of its plumage – adults in full vibrant colours the juveniles a little less so.
Like us, they too were getting ready to move on – though not home in any real sense. I guess a migratory bird has no real home – they winter in the south and summer with us in the north. Their young, born here, those duller birds flexing their wings and practising their flight skills, would shortly be undertaking an epic flight to Southern Africa for the first ever time, crossing the Sahara along the way.
Hopefully some of those birds, fellow travellers, that we shared that afternoon with will make it back next year and, hopefully, someone else will be sat on that step one afternoon in early August looking up admiring these fantastic birds that grace our skies every Summer and wonder what journeys lie ahead?
The end of one journey just brings the start of the next that much nearer.