The swans are leaving

Standing at the door to our flat talking to a friend I heard a sound high above which was strange to my ears – a melancholic low pitched rhythmic cry. I wondered if it was geese but as we looked up, searching the sky for the birds we could hear, Marianne said simply, “Its the swans. They’re leaving.” Then we saw them, their long necks stretched forward, their giant wings spread out, a group of maybe ten or twelve swans flying in a typical v-formation.

“Leaving?” I asked. “Where are they going?

“To Russia,” Marianne replied. “The winter they spend in the south, but with Spring they return to the north. Sweden is only a stop-off on the long flight to Russia and Siberia.”

There was something lonely and sad in this majestic sight, something to do with the magnitude of this mighty journey, repeated every year. Yet perhaps the swans are more comfortable with this regular migration than we people are with all our moving from place to place.

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