“The children are doing well,” Priscilla tells me, when she has no choice but to sit and can finally talk. “They send their love. They’ve grown.”
She and her husband Carl have been busy refurbishing the mudded nest atop my back porch light. Priscilla’s mother did it before her and her mother’s mother, too. They were all named Priscilla.
Priscilla and Carl are Barn Swallows. Barn Swallows don’t much care for change. Names and nests, they’re passed along, mother to daughter, father to son.
They fly south for the winter. Priscilla and Carl have a nest on the porch of another little farmhouse in Chile, near a small town named Talca. There are two children there on the farm, Luis and Anna.
Carl is too busy collecting bugs to talk, but Priscilla has laid the first of her eggs and must sit, so she tells me now the news from Luis and Anna. Of their birthdays and loose teeth, the llamas they raise, and of their great-grandfather, Oscar, who sits on the porch near their nest and tells wondrous tales that never seems to end.
Priscilla will tell me too, eventually, of their journey. Of the miles and storms and passersby. We have two weeks to talk, a little more, before the eggs hatch and she must gather food as well. Two weeks to fill her, like a postcard, with stories and love to return to Luis and Anna and Oscar, who sit in the warmth of a porch far, far south, waiting.