The Tree Swallow, and my blog Takhuk, is where I hope you will find some short pieces of thoughtful reading, and other offerings of mine that may appear from time to time. About things that, like this bird the tree swallow, move quickly. But also, like the tree swallow, remain constant and timeless.
Why Tahkuk? Tahkuk represents the first 6 letters of the Ancient Greek word tahkukinetos which means tree swallow. Translated, the word means, moving quickly. I know nothing of Ancient Greek, by the way. I was just looking for a mysterious word to reflect the mystery of writing, of nature, and of this technology that allows me to share this with you.
When I discovered this Ancient Greek word and its meaning, I knew I had found exactly the right word to capture the theme of my blog, which is dedicated to the exploration of all those things in life that move quickly, yet never really change.
The Tree Swallow is a bird I came to love when I lived in the country. For many years I had a big old poplar tree with wonderfully large and bushy branches next to my deck. This tree with its abundance of leaves was a marvelous source of shade and movement and whispering. It was also a source of clinging white fluff and sticky yellow leaf casings that stained the deck, but those matters could not persuade me to trim the tree because in it every year nested a pair of tree swallows.
While I rarely saw their nest -the tree was very big and leafy and the birds were very secretive about their home – I knew from their zips and whips and in flight rendezvous’ in my yard that soon, there would be eggs in a nest somewhere in that tree and then, a few weeks later, my summer entertainment would begin, and I would take time in early morning or early evening to sit on the deck and watch.
Have you ever seen a family of tree swallows flying together? Their formations, their wing tip to wing tip, beak to tail feathers acrobatics and chasing games through over under roof eaves, deck posts, tree branches,telephone wires is a better show than the Snowbirds and Cirque De Soleil rolled into one.
This pair of tree swallows returned year after year, coming to know the territory and me so well they were willing to execute just a feather’s length from my body their exuberant thrilling stunts many of which I am convinced were just for my own private viewing. I saw their babies learn to fly which took no time at all and for weeks saw them revel in their own freedom and joy diving ducking circling around me,the wooden structures of the deck, and the big old poplar.
Well, these tree swallows completely captured my soul. I can still feel them flying around me, all I need to do is think of them. And when I do, I think of other things, which is why I am here now, writing to you, in case you too, have a bird, or some other charm, that leads your mind down similar paths to mine.
Thanks for reading,