the day the swifts came back

May’s been a funny old month. Colder than March, some days. Full of brisk winds and heavy storms that stripped the blossom off the trees in my street before I’d barely had time to stop and appreciate it. Nights of violent dreams and creeping nightmares, days of bad news and exhaustion. Too many moments of frustration and loneliness.

Yesterday afternoon there was a break in the clouds, so I went for a walk up Primrose Hill. I lay down in the grass and looked up at the sky, and I took these photos.

new shoes on Primrose Hill


on Primrose Hill

on Primrose Hill

bug's eye view of Primrose Hill

And as I lay on the grass near the top of the hill, watching the clouds, I spotted the first swifts of the summer. They always arrive around the third or fourth week in May, so I’ve been looking out for them, but it was a lovely surprise to spot them anyway. They were way up high amongst the cirrus, tiny black specks flitting around, so high that you could blink and miss them.

I made my way up to the peak of the hill and craned my face upwards to get a better glimpse, only to realise that nobody else had noticed them, the heralds of summer. This was a moment for me, alone.

And I walked off down the hill with a smile on my face, towards a tree with new buds of pink blossom starting to bloom, a sign that the storms of May didn’t blow everything off the trees.

down Primrose Hill


May’s been a funny old month. Stormy weather and bad dreams took their toll on me. But it’s also been a month of mellow afternoons with good sounds spilling out of windows opened wide to warm sunshine. Days of creative encouragement and good food. Days to linger under lush green trees, listen to the bees and watch the birds in the sky.

Yesterday the swifts came back, and I almost didn’t see them.


[photos taken with the Hipstamatic app, using the Adler 9009 lens and Blanko Freedom13 Film]

6 Comments to “the day the swifts came back”

  1. Our neighborhood colony of chimney swifts have been back a couple/few weeks, and NOTHING makes me happier.

  2. I hope you are feeling better Anna, nightmares are exhausting things and bad news is awful, I’ll send you a big hug and lot’s of positive vibes – May certainly has been an unpredictable month but you have given me a wonderful idea and excellent pictures, I want to lie on the grass now, I just hope we have decent weather tomorrow! I didn’t know I was in your neck of the woods the other day! wouldn’t it have been excellent if we bumped into each other! x x x

  3. Such lovely images, and a wonderful post about hope and looking forward, I think. xxx

  4. In the last flat I lived in (top floor) swifts nested in the eaves of the house next door. I loved watching them, and hearing them. I’m glad you got your moment alone with nature.

  5. This is such a beautiful, poetic post, it touched me deeply!
    Write more, you have a gift!
    I also wanted to tell you that I feel similarly about what I do not post about. Even though I post quite often, I think I could do a post a day and never run out of things to say, to show, to share… xxxxxx

  6. This was almost a short story, and a very good one. I love spring and the first signs of summer so much…