Eye - 7 August 2020

From Meeting with martins to an imperious tone

'Friends in Kingsbridge, Devon, have been coming together in socially-distanced worship at an Iron Age encampment.' | Photo: courtesy of Juliet Morton.

Meeting with martins

Sixteen Sundays of lockdown prompted Jane Woodford, of Dundee Meeting, to reflect on some unexpected company.

She writes that, during lockdown ‘I haven’t been able to get to Dundee Friends Meeting House which is ten miles from our home in Perthshire. My husband, an attender, had started to come with
me, so we now have a Meeting for Worship at home, just the two of us… but this year we’ve also had the company of a pair of house martins.

‘These little birds returned from Africa and built a nest under the eaves of a high south-facing window overlooking our garden. If they return next year it would be nice to know they are “our” martins, but a birder friend told me that house martins are very difficult to ring.

‘It seems a miracle to me that these small birds fly so far to maintain their food supply, and it is a joy to see them return. But when we see martins and swallows lined up on the local
power lines we know it’s the end of summer and I feel a sense of sadness when they depart.

‘Meantime I rejoice in their presence, despite a window streaked with birdlime. I’ll clean the window when they’ve gone. Their presence with us is in itself a ministry of endurance and survival. God bless them for flying here and sheltering under our roof.’

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