Sunday is the only day I can sleep late, or at least want to, but this morning I was driven out of bed by an incessant squawking that certainly couldn’t be blamed on any of my cats. It did’t sound like any of the usual coots or ducks around, and the heron has been gone for a while. So I stumbled out of bed sleepily and looked out the window, opening the balcony door in the process. Lo and behold, the Swan Family was just docking.

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©MTHerzog

Last year when I first moved into the apartment I had the delightful experience of watching the small swan family grow in front of my eyes, as they stopped by every morning and afternoon for grooming and a power nap. It was a brood of six that narrowed down to four, with two very protective parents.  The young swans grew up and eventually went their own way.

Starting May of this year I kept an eye out for the swans again, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new cygnets, but since we had such a weird spring, I suspected mating was a little later. Yesterday afternoon I watched the summer storm unfold on the river, and once things settled down, the swans waddled up the dock for a quick stop and grooming session. It is the next batch of cygnets, same parents, but this time they have a brood of eight, and Father Swan looks rather stressed. Mother Swan is her usual composed self, leading the pack with elegance and firmness.

swan5
©MTHerzog

This morning the Swan family, all 10 of them, graced our dock with their presence, surprisingly quieter than expected. My cats were their usual curious selves, and Champagne still can’t get over how large these birds are. Cherry, the hunter, would have loved to run loose among them. Breakfast was delayed for all of us, as I took the time to photograph them. There was something very refreshing and healing about seeing these swans again. I have missed them, and I miss seeing them twice a day like I used to when I still worked from home. But one cannot have everything in life.

I have had a very silent weekend, and I like it that way. Lately I have taken to having my Pyjama Day either on a Saturday or Sunday, and in as much silence as possible. A friend sent me a book called Selbst Freundschaft (Being Friends With Yourself) by Wilhelm Schmid and it arrived just in time for my silent days. This is also a recurring theme in therapy for me: learning to like myself again, to fix the broken self-esteem, and learn to be friends with myself. It has nothing to do with selfishness, and everything to do self-affirmation. Thank you, dear BW, for this. The timing is perfect.

So the return of the swans is a sign, a positive sign of encouragement, that things will start to look up again.