The female was turning their two eggs with great care; the male was busy completing the nest. The seasonal urge of life to reproduce itself becomes one of the particular wonders of avian biology. Every Spring the cycle is repeated as bird species, in all their populations and individual breeding pairings, follow their natural genetic programming. Such nestbuilding and nurture is a choreographed delight to behold. These two made an enchanting spectacle as they carefully prepared to birth the next generation.
The inbuilt imperative of these swans to perpetuate their species leads one to ask some searching questions about our experience of institutional religion. What urgency is there to prepare the conditions out of which new faith can be birthed and nurtured? How willing are we to shape our activities for the benefit of those whose task is to fly the nest to fresh habitats and establish new populations there? Why is it that year-in, year-out we continue to re-use old dilapidated nests when sometimes the much better way is to build fresh ones? (for 'nest' read buildings, theology, worship, organisation, or whatever else you see that is outmoded). Is our spiritual DNA urging us to see the faith grow and reproduce, or are those particular religious genes dormant?
Fortunately the swans are untroubled by such things. They just naturally get on with the business of being swans. Can't wait to see the cygnets.