I Wished to be a Swallow (Reflections on depression & faith)


I stood in the field alone, looking out to the western foothills. The sun was starting its descent from day to night, but it wasn’t quite sunset.

Not quite.

It was the magical time just before. The window through which everything is more vibrant in color, more alive, rimmed with gold. My favorite time of the day.

“This is when they should bury me,” I thought.

This is when they should lower my body into the ground, when the sun turns the world golden before its arc into night.

When the leaves on the trees flash a bright spring green. And the cottonwood floating in the air looks electric. When the long grass glows warm, its tips a blur of undulating white.

When everything is just a little too bright, just a little too beautiful, just a little too intense.

Just like me.

I was out in that field looking for God, not for salvation but for some sign that things would be okay after I died. For me and for the people who would miss me so, so much.

Depression is like being dead in a world that is cruelly alive. Cold and hollowed out like a corpse, you try to connect with the living, try to feel the warmth of their hope, but you can’t.

My only tether to this life was my love. For my mom, my brother, my friends. For the dreams of what my life was supposed to be. For my children who had yet to be born.

But the pain was becoming greater than my love, and so I was preparing to die. I didn’t know how exactly. That was for later, after I’d made peace with myself and with God in this field.

After I knew I’d done my very best to live. Because I wanted them to say at my funeral,

“She did her very best to live.”

I noticed swallows darting back and forth across the field. As the sun began to set, they emerged.

Dozens and dozens of them flew about, only a few inches above the glowing grass, catching bugs in the last light of the day. A few of the braver ones flew close enough that I could hear their chirping and the swish of their wings.

They were exuberant and joyful. And I contemplated why they were not afraid. Their minds could not comprehend that the setting sun would rise again the next day, but they flew like it would.

They had faith that it would.

I wished to have that kind of faith.

I wished to be a swallow.


236 thoughts on “I Wished to be a Swallow (Reflections on depression & faith)

  1. East meets West says:

    This post touched me on a personal level. I’m a teenager dealing with depression and anxiety and I’m still struggling but this post has given me a little bit of hope, thank you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • AKO Collective says:

      You are never alone. It feels that way but you are never alone. Pls check out Jenny Lawson’s new book “You Are Here” and her blog (The Blogess). She’s brilliant and funny and such a bright light for people with these challenges. My best to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • #themaskwriter says:

      i don’t want to be intrusive, but i am happy that this post gave you solace. if you need some help on getting out of depression, i’m here for you.

      i’ve been dealing with depression myself, for almost three years and i am finally getting out of it. thomas moore book is helping me a lot on that, the title is “caring of the soul”. check it out. (;

      also, i share some of my thoughts about it in my blog, if you’d like to read it.

      don’t ever forget that you are magic and that you can make wonderful things. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hetika Shah says:

    In all the darkness, there is always a light, but the key is to search for that light. Like my father says, there is a plan written for you, I know it may sound a little corny but that’s what kept me going. You may not be able to see that plan today or tomorrow, but when you do, all the struggles in life will make this find an achievement. We may not know each other, but you can always message me if you want to talk.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sadeknows says:

    This was really beautiful. The imagery and mood alone sucked you in. Even the duality of the sparrow, which I think represents freedom/ innocence and the biblical allusion of sparrow was nicely interwoven into this story. You could really relate to emotions the persona was going through.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. itsmayurremember says:

    I thought about dying once or twice and then never again. I see my thoughts heading that way and I just stop, forcibly. I don’t wanna let my thoughts stray that way let alone put them one a piece of paper and publish it online.

    I am not saying I am impressed, I am sad because this isn’t a tale but it is real

    Liked by 2 people

    • #themaskwriter says:

      i felt the same way too.

      it was beautifully written, sure. but it portrays very sad feelings.

      someone asking for help, showing their desire do die isn’t impressive. it hurts. and it hurts twice because i know how it feels to loose life’s meaning. in a way that only death seems the way out…

      i still have hope because the writer can still see beauty around her. and that’s something she can hold on to.

      if you’re reading this, alexis. know that there’s a way out. that you are made of stars and there is magic inside you. it is hidden, so search very well for it. you will find it.

      and if you need help on that, i’m only a message away. together we’re stronger.

      i’m sending you the bright colors of new beginnings and soft winds of change. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nita-Mataatua says:

    This is beautiful. I have lived with depression since I was very small; what strikes me most now that I am older is that my life has been made up of little moments like this; where I was too close to the end, but found hope and faith in something that would otherwise be almost inconspicuous. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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