There are some dates on the calendar that deserve annual recognition every year such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. And then there are those dates that just mean something special. As my kids would say, I'm dorky enough to get excited enough to remember every year the date on which the swallows return from the southern hemisphere to our property...March 28...give or take a few days and then later in the year the day they will depart.
March 28 represents the end of their six month absence. Every fall they mass together above the house for one last swoop and dart session catching up whatever mosquitoes or flying insects are available before they take off heading for warmer climates, all reminding me of the six months of cold and gloom to come.
Regardless that the calendar recorded the coming of spring a week earlier, spring doesn't really come for me until they make their appearance. Much to the rolling of their eyes, my children have usually been dictated to include their arrival in their nature journal as part of their homeschool studies. It is just one of those predictable phenoms of nature; their God-given instinct to migrate at the same time each and to return back to their homes six months later. They are such fascinating little birds that I've done a little research on their annual return which is celebrated the end of March in California at the San Juan Capistrano mission at which their return has been recorded for the past two hundred years.
Today I've kept my eyes trained upward hoping to catch them as the return. Perhaps they will still make their arrival later on this afternoon or perhaps it will be tomorrow or the next day. But you can be sure, they will be here. And they will make me smile.