Those Halcyon Days will be back soon!

A fellow in the skies
Of independent hues,
A little weather-worn,
Inspiriting habiliments
Of indigo and brown.

With gay delays he goes
To some superior tree
Without a single leaf,
And shouts for joy to nobody
But his seraphic self!”

Emily Dickinson


Emily’s lines are about the Blue Bird, yet perfectly match with this Common Kingfisher. I found him sitting on this branch in front of our home Kousthubham, during my visit last month. Sitting in deep contemplation, probably satiated as the monsoon provided him a good harvest of small fish and little frogs. After a while he shrieked a shrill of joy, as if thanking Nature and then flew away. A shout of joy and gratitude, that we forget to do most of the time.

In Greek mythology god of Wind’s daughter Alcyone (Halcyone) and her husband Ceyx were changed into common kingfishers following some tragic events. They were called the Halcyon birds. Halcyon days were the days when Alcyone (after being transformed into the kingfisher) laid eggs near the seashore. Aeolus protected his daughter and her eggs by calming the winds and waves during this period. That is how ‘halcyon days’  which means peaceful days came into existence. Original meaning was ‘a bright interval during adversity’.

Green and Blue together provide a calming effect. I love capturing green leaves of the trees against blue skies. Usually Kerala sparkles fresh and green during Monsoon, a wonderful experience of its own. The season rejuvenates the land and the minds of its people. Eventhough dark and sombre skies of June-July act like wet blankets, the agrarian society appreciates the bountiful rains and looks forward to the sunshine days of August-September and also to the harvest festival Onam.

Sadly and unfortunately, this year the monsoon is wreaking havoc in Kerala. Heavens are pouring its fury over helpless Man and hundreds are suffering from Nature’s rage. Dam shutters are opened, many districts are flooded, land slides are crushing people’s lives and dreams; an overall disheartening and disturbing situation back home. I was in Kerala during the peaceful phase and this photo of the common kingfisher was clicked then. Situation has drastically changed since then. Waiting for those halcyon days to be back at the earliest. Hoping and praying that everyone back home stays safe and strong! The bleak days will be over soon. Salute those brave hearts who are helping the needy, risking their own lives, salute the rescue operations and relief efforts!

One thought on “Those Halcyon Days will be back soon!

  1. I didn’t know any of the lore behind Alcyone and halcyon days. A fellow who used to read my blog had the screen name of Alcyone, and I have to confess there was a period of time when I assume his first name was Al. This proves that even a fairly well educated person can have substantial gaps in their knowledge!

    I love the kingfisher, and I love this post. Our kingfisher isn’t so striking, color-wise, but the call is similar. They certainly can be heard for long distances when they decide to declare their joy to the world, and hearing the call of the kingfisher for us is a sign of returning autumn: our season of halcyon days.

    Liked by 1 person

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