Today is the day I married my husband — nine years ago! We have now been together a staggering 16 years in total! On this day each year, I enjoy looking back through our wedding photos and videos. It really was such a wonderful day. Last night I read through our vows and other poems that were recited by loved ones in the church on that day nine years ago. There was one particular poem that my mother read during the ceremony, that still makes me feel quite emotional.
The poem is about two birds who travel the world and then eventually meet upon the ‘very same tree’. This poem reflects our story; however, in our case it was a ship 🙂
I began to research more into these ‘Birds of Capistrano’ and this is what I discovered..
Mission San Juan Capistrano is just north of San Diego in the US (coincidentally, my husband and I first met on a ship docked in San Diego). The birds of San Juan Capistrano are cliff swallows that have made the Mission and the city world famous. For centuries, the swallows returned to this town on the exact same day each year. They transferred their nests to the eaves of the Mission when it was built in 1776 as it was an ideal spot for the swallows to nest and raise their young.
As the little birds fly back to this most famous mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and visitors from all parts of the world gather in great numbers to witness the “miracle” of the return of the swallows, usually on St Josephs Day (19 March).
Then each year, around the Day of San Juan (October 23), the famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano swirl into the sky and head back to Argentina to raise their families, although unfortunately bird sightings are becoming less and less over the years.
A song was even made about them! In 1939, songwriter Leon Rene wrote “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano.” The song was apparently a hit.
“When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That’s the day you promised to come back to me.
When you whispered farewell in Capistrano
Twas the day the swallows flew out to the sea.”
Just as these famous birds did, my husband and I also fell in love, then migrated across the seas together, building a home and a family.