When I was very young, my Mother took me for walks in Humboldt Park, along the edge of the Prairie River. I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates, of an old boathouse, a circular band shell, an arched stone bridge. The narrows of the river emptied into a wide lagoon and I saw upon its surface a singular miracle. A long curving neck rose from a dress of white plumage.

Swan, my mother said, sensing my excitement. It pattered the bright water, flapping its great wings, and lifted into the sky.

The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings.

The swan became one with the sky. I struggled to find words to describe my own sense of it. Swan, I repeated, not entirely satisfied, and I felt a twinge, a curious yearning, imperceptible to passersby, my mother, the trees, or the clouds.

~ Patti Smith, Just Kids

Photo: Swan by tatsuo yamaguchi (via Superbnature)


  1. In the moment with her, lifting skyward. Fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the sense of awe David! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the sensing that there is more and realizing that there are no words to capture it 💛

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  5. This is how we should always see life! In awe and amazement. 🙂

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  6. Birds in flight, taking off, landing, and flying, are always magnificent.

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  7. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. one can almost imagine the child thinking, “one day, I too shall take wing and soar…” This was a lovely post, writing and photograph 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the way, Patti Smith takes pen to paper….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. David …I just purchased her book and it’s so beautifully written …love , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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