'There are times when Nature seems to be nothing but a revelation of beauty and glory and divinity; when it seems utterly obvious that the Creator is not only a thoroughly good chap but one who takes a special pleasure in beauty.

'I've been watching swallows, you see.

'I was walking a sunken path, to my left an expansive field of green corn, and saw, flying low, apparently for the simple pleasure of getting their tummies tickled by the tips of the corn stems, a small group of swallows lost in the wonder of their own agility.


'What is more perfect than a swallow? The effortless flight, the astounding speed and accuracy, a splendidly natty colour scheme (pale below and navy above, with the elegant touch of a red face mask), the swept-back, fighter-plane wings, the long tail streamers, the way they love curves and despise straight lines, the knowledge that they have travelled in sweeps and swerves all the way from Southern Africa.

'They look as if they have come here specifically to tell us that the run-stealers flicker to and fro, to and fro, that there is honey still for tea, that God's in His Heaven, all's right with the world.

'Mind you, it's possible that an insect would see a swallow as something different – a ravening beast from Doctor Who, perhaps, or one of those unexpected monsters from a Ted Hughes poem that attack the sensibilities. But when we see a swallow, we human beings, at least, experience beauty and thoughts of the benignity of Creation lurk in every curving, twittering fly-past.'

From an article by Simon Barnes in The Times.  I concur.


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