I am restless, my heart flitting, my mind fighting for calm; a to-and-fro dance of wild spirit versus learned wisdom. My night was fitful, lost in anxiety of endings and beginnings, but I awaken to swallows tapping a merry dance on my caravan skylight and watching their tiny faces—so filled with wonder—peeking this way and that with swift jerks and no hesitation, I feel my fears from the dark dissipate.
The sound of them fluttering and chattering propels me to reach an arm out from my warm bed and open the blind on the big window. Morning sun lights up the field golden and for a moment my heart rests in appreciation. Twenty or more are sitting one next to another along a length of fencing tape. Some staring in wonder like me, at the sight of the morning light, but the younger ones are obvious; opening and closing their wings they wobble about, hopping from one foot to another, trying to keep their balance.
I, too, am trying to keep my balance.
There is always this feverishness when a road trip is looming. An uncertainty; a desperation. Home relationships are folding in for the season, and the anticipation of other friendships in other places fill us with jittery hope. Everything has gotten so busy here. There is an air of the unfulfilled, unappreciated; uncertain. Not everything is forgotten when we drive away, but there is a sense of simple freedom in the air, a sense of needs being met by so very little.
We long to reconnect.
Somehow it feels we have been pulled away again, this way and that, and the longing to go home is like a deep, deafening ache. Moving around each other we are becoming increasingly aware of the undercurrent, of the need to get on the road. Quick. Before one of us implodes.
Some people pre-plan long tours to include stopping places from where to marvel but we, we simply get in our van and drive. We drive until the sun penetrates the windowpane and eases our restless hearts. We drive until we can lie in the shadow of mountains and feel the sense of being far, far away from everything that blights this modern life. We drive until it feels right to stop and slow.
As I sit here, watching the swallows, I feel a sense of deep ease knowing that soon, together, we will be travelling south. That together we will be eating on the wing, feeling that rush of excitement for sights and sounds—some new, some remembered from a time before. A baby swallow looks down through my skylight directly into my eyes, and I wish we could converse. But then, I realise, our wild hearts are already in full communication.
Thanks for being here.