Apparently, swans find a partner and stay together for life. This evening I was running in the twilight around the lake, and at the far corner I passed a family of three swans - mum, dad and youngster.
One of the adults was on the ground, dead - feathers everywhere. The other two were standing quietly by, not moving, just standing, staring.
I wondered how long they would stay there for, with their dead parent and partner. I wondered what they were feeling, how they were registering their pain. I wondered if they had any idea about the magnititude of what they were experiencing.
And I thanked God, in a painful moment of helplessness, for the words that I've always applied metaphorically to myself, but not literally to God's creation: 'Are not sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing.'
And I sensed, in that moment, Creation groaning within the silence of a broken family.