b_flying_barn_swallowI love having a barn for so many reasons, but the barn swallows rank right up there near the top of the list.  There’s something comforting about them, probably because they remind me of the tree swallows of my youth.  Oh, they’re not perfect and they’re even a little annoying, when you consider the mess they make in the barn (our green tractor is white, in parts).  But to see them swooping and diving, to know that they’re taking care of the significant bug population, to hear them chattering…well, all of this is a little piece of heaven for me.

The swallows inspired my reflection in this week’s column on Our Lady of Knock.  I don’t know if they have swallows in Ireland, but I’ll always associate my favorite bird with my favorite lady from now on.  I don’t think she’ll mind.  🙂