The barn swallows are gone for this year. They left sometime in September. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Swallow/id
I watch for their return Mid-May every year in Nebraska. I know they will leave end of summer and think I’ll say good-bye this year. I look for them in the evenings, and find they are already gone like quicksilver. One minute it’s there, the next second it slips through my fingers. My reflexes aren’t fast enough to see. Their migratory pattern is fixed in their DNA. https://journeynorth.org/tm/swallow/News.html
I like to watch the swallows dip and dive on warm summer evenings at twilight. I imagine it’s possible to see them snapping up mosquitos and flies, cleaning my backyard for human outdoor comfort, as they feed themselves and their young nesting in my barn.
These sleek blue-black birds left about the time I ordered a new black mobile briefcase to roll to new part-time self-employment. Buying new supplies for a new post-retirement career is easy and fun. Writing the letter of resignation to leave my position after 39 years with the same employer is hard.
Over the years, and through many different administers, I worked to provide more and different kinds of help to students. Until the last few years, those administrations supported and encouraged my program’s efforts. They believed in the concept of helping students through many obstacles, enhancing their graduation rates. The current one doesn’t share that view. This leader’s focus is public relations, and self-image.
The program I’m leaving has been reduced to near nonexistence. Theoretically, that should make it easier to retire, however leaving is bittersweet. I’m hopeful the next person in this position will be more articulate, and able to make a case to recover lost services that benefit students.
I’ll build my own mud nest, ready to hatch and fledge a new direction.