Friday, April 17, 2015

The swans of Dromantine

I've been to Dromantine--the home of the Society of African Missionaries in Ireland--twice before this time. It is a breathtaking place, a manor house worthy of Downton Abbey, with the addition of a modern retreat house,. And at the bottom of the Great Lawn is a body of water larger than what New Englanders call 'ponds''s really a small lake.

(Google 'Dromantine' to see some views.)

And both times before one of the things I'd do early in the morning and as light was failing, was watch the pair of swans who live there.

This time, coming in, I saw only one, up on the bank. Later, I saw only one, swimming and feeding on the water. The next day I saw only one, up on the bank again, looking distracted or (as I anthropromorphized it) 'sad', and I decided one of the swans had died.

I lived through that day and the beginning of the next, I was mourning for myself and for the swan. Swans mate for life and I was making the swan I kept seeing into a mournful widow/er.

Then I asked one of the guys who do all the work for the conference center and minding the grounds, 'when did you lose a swan'.

After three tries understanding his particular accent, I realized he was telling me that the female was nesting amid some bushes, out of sight, and the male (who I kept seeing) was 'out of sorts' being alone so much.

As we were leaving, a day and a half later, there they were, hugging the far bank, the female unwilling to venture too far from her nest, swimming together.

Swans are not like dogs or cats or horses or ducks or cows. Swans can be really nasty and aggressive. But they are so noble and beautiful and belong in settings like the waters of Dromantine.

It gave my heart joy all the way to Dublin knowing they were together still.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.