Barn Swallows at Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Columbus by Cortney North

I wish I could say those cute birds didn’t dive-bomb us…

…but I would be lying. My husband is much taller than me so he took the brunt of the barn swallow pair’s scare tactics. They were protecting their nest, so I’d say it was fair to be defensive.

I’ll be upfront: This summer is not going to be the one that produces a lot of artwork and writing. I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t been able to devote more time to either pursuit; however, it has been a tough summer for me in my personal life. Sadly, there have been a number of deaths of friends over the past few months and a dear family member is likely passing soon. That makes for a really difficult time.

I know art is supposed to be soothing and therapeutic, but it is Time that I’m finding I don’t have in abundance. My out-of-the-home job has become extremely busy, is demanding more of me and has taken my mental faculties by the time the clock strikes noon each day.

What I have been doing to keep my health up and spirits from tanking is spending lots of time outdoors. Given that Ohio’s recent weather pattern has included lots of rain showers, I’ve been dodging thunderstorms to take my walks. Despite my planned efforts, more than once I have been caught in a sudden downpour. Surprisingly it felt good and rejuvenating, like I was a kid who set out to purposefully get drenched in the showers.

Waves of Grasses at Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Columbus by Cortney North

A lovely photo from a day that was void of rain in the afternoon – such a treat! If this picture were a video, you would see the grasses undulating like waves out in the deep ocean. The barn swallows and swifts were riding the strong wind and catching the insects that rushed through the scene. I could have stayed on the platform for hours.

I’m hoping this Fall will be more productive. Likely it will be.

I know I have a choice to push myself, which could lead to a lot of stress. But on the upside I’d be productive. I’ve weighed the benefits and have decided against it given the lessons I’m learning from my friends’ passing away. It is about balance in life and so much is seasonal. Right now if feels wise to absorb the weight of what is happening, to be fully present for my family and spend time healing.

I guess you could say I’m like those Barn Swallows right now and defending the balance in my life. This season will move on, just like their babies will leave the much-to-small nest and their need to protect will ease away. My schedule will change and will allow for more art and more writing.

I’m looking forward to the new season – just like those Barn Swallows are likely ready for the kids to get out of that nest and fly!