I've been very busy this week (again) and the next few days will be even busier. So, just for a few minutes this morning before reality dawned, I stopped, rested my two elbows on a wall in Fermoy, and decided to enjoy nature's free spectacle.
I'm not religious, but I've always liked Cardinal Cushing's prayer 'Slow Me Down, Lord'. He asks for the ability to be able to stop amid the noise and confusion to find moments of inner peace. That's what I was doing. Finding a space for a few moments on the banks of my beautiful Blackwater.
Swifts and swallows wheeled under the arches of the bridge. A heron moved into position on the weir. There was no sight or sound of the kingfisher that often fishes from the low-lying branches in the opposite banks. How often have I been told by people that they've never seen one. That's because they don't know how to find them. I do, and photographing them and the herons has taught me much about nature, and about what's important to me.
Cars and trucks passed on the bridge. People parked cars, paid for parking tickets. All were oblivious to me and my thoughts.
One swallow in flight dropped a white feather. Another almost instantly caught it in its beak and followed the other. Have I just witnessed a courtship or bonding behaviour? I know I saw it but no one else did.
Time to fly. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's nice to slow down and watch the world pass by.
Keywords: Slowing, down, heron, kingfisher, nature, peace, photography, quietness, solitude, swallows, swifts
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