Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Lesson from the Swallows...

   In late August the Eastern tree swallows congregate on Star Island.  They come from all over Eastern Canada and Northern New England and they come by the thousands.  This is their staging location, where the birds rest and fatten up on the ripening bay berries and rose hips before they begin their long and exhausting migration to Florida and the Gulf coast area.

   I think people come to Star Island for similar rest their culture weary souls and feed their hungry spirits through the various conferences held there each year or, as in my case, to be a solitary retreatent and just bask in the tranquility of such a unique place.

   The swallows know that there is safety in community and perhaps they encourage and give each other strength to face the daunting journey.  People here do the same thing.  There was a feeling of camaraderie; a "we're all in this together" feel to the place.  It is a lesson we all could learn.

  During the Saturday night candlelight chapel service we all sang this lovely opening song.  I think it is a fitting song for both humans and swallows alike and I had a feeling the little birds were listening through the open windows as we sang...

Come, Come, Whoever You are,
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
Ours is no caravan of despair
Come, yet again, come.

   And people do come again and again.  I met a couple whose grandparents and parents had come to the island during summers past.  Both they and their children spent the summer as "Pels" (short for Pelicans, their affectionate nickname), the young college age kids that work in the hotel and in various capacities around the island.  It is a place that generation after generation visit year after year.

   I bought a hooded sweatshirt (the nights get cool 4 miles out to sea in late August) that had their logo on it... Star Island - My Spirit's Home.  I think I would agree.  I can't believe this wonderful place was on my doorstep all this time and I never took the opportunity to visit...another lesson there.

  Here is a link to a small album of photographs from my stay on Star Island.  I present it to give you a small sense of place...this unique and special place...



kimmanleyort said...

Oh I would love to visit Star Island sometime soon! You have definitely piqued my interest. Beautiful images.

Simon said...

I loved reading about your contemplative photography. Thank you for sharing-it will make me think if I'm "shooting" or letting a scene speak to me. I think I'm inclined to do both.
Stopping by thru Nancy Grace Horton, but I blog as well at

I live nearby in Kennebunk and hope to visit Star again next season.

Happy day to you.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Susan and Kim! Love to hear comments and see other peoples work. Like minds, etc. etc.