The migration of birds helps me understand my life

Starlings over Marazion Marshes

I promised myself I would write here today and although it is late at night I want to keep to that promise.

Now that I have this brand new beautiful blog I feel shy about writing unless it is worthwhile, interesting, wonderful and perfect.

Impossible expectations of myself only freeze my creativity.

So here I am writing just an ordinary post, hoping at least to capture something of the moment that I am living through right now.

I am back in Cornwall yet again.

I arrived about three weeks ago and tomorrow night I leave Penzance on the sleeper train to London. On Saturday I will fly to Barcelona and then travel on by train to Granollers.

It is the first time in years that I have been back in Cornwall in November and  I have loved it.  The weather has been pretty good and I’ve been able to walk along the deserted coast path and on the empty beaches. The winter birds have arrived and the summer tourists have gone.

The roads are quiet and the streets of Penzance have been returned to the locals.

Starlings going home to roost

But I found myself aware that I am no longer a local.   I am not a tourist but am definitely a visitor. Some people in my village of Lamorna didn’t recognise me.  Others are surprised to see me at this time of year and every day someone is asking,  ” How long are you here this time?”  and  “When do you go off again?”         It is perfectly natural for people to want to know these things.  There is something disturbing about someone who comes and goes, someone who used to live here and be part of the fabric of life but who suddenly upped and went off to live in Spain.  I hear an element of accusation in the questions, a hint of annoyance as if I decided to go because Cornwall wasn’t good enough for me.

Being a migrant means I am expected at certain times of the year and am seen as a strange occurance at others.  As if I have flown off course.

This makes me sad and makes me long to settle down and stay again, to be a year round resident.

And yet…..

I feel the call of the south.   I want to go  where the sun shines with more warmth.  There is something – and  someone who is calling me.  And in the spring I will start to dream of Cornish cliffs and of my country cabin.

I don’t like feeling like a transient visitor when I come to Cornwall but somehow this is now my reality.

I have always felt drawn to birds and known a link between their lives and mine.

It helps me understand my life now when I think about migration


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5 thoughts on “The migration of birds helps me understand my life

  1. I love the analogy with migrating birds, who of course need both places in order to survive. As a year round resident, it makes me happy to see the swallows and swifts again, the starlings and winter visitors in their turn. And I’m always happy to see you again Kate when you come to Cornwall. My sadness when you leave is softened by knowing that, like the birds, you’ll be back again some day.

  2. I get that your migration is an adaptation for your survival. Sadly, you are not a bird colony or part of a migrating herd and your migration is solitary. You need to find your herd.

  3. I love the photos! I love your post, I think the writing is worthwhile, interesting, wonderful and almost perfect!! I love you!!! I miss your feathers in our nest of the south…

  4. Love this analogy to migration. I spent the past two year splitting my work time between New York and Nashville and completely relate to belonging and yet not belonging in either place. I think it raises great questions for all of us, what is it to belonging…where are we longing to spread our wings…

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