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As the Swallow Soars, So Will I

Paul Varghese

This poem was inspired by a patient interview on “Be My Eyes.” On this app, you can help blind and visually impaired people within your region cope with everyday situations (e.g., reading a label or picking a specific color for clothing). You can download the app at

How can a moment so bitter become so sweet?

As the hunter sets the net, intent commits to action.

He adjusts the net and spreads it over the target location.

His mind is placed on one thing, this time he will ensnare the swallow.

Its body will be snatched from the sky, no more to fly amongst the living.

In a moment it will lose everything, the forest will no longer hear it sing.

It glides unaware, flitting to and fro until it is caught by the net.

Bliss turns into panic, there is no one to help.

The swallow struggles as it tries to untangle its wings.

Its wriggling slows down, the last morning rings.

There seems to be no more hope - no more trills, there is silence. 


How can a moment so bitter become so sweet?

A mysterious paradox of life seen in those set free.

Suddenly a deer strides through and startles the hunter.

The hunter loses control of the net, and the swallow breaks free.

Once set free, it is free indeed.

Never did the sun, moon and stars seem more beautiful.

Never did the great oaks seem warmer and more welcoming.

Never did its feathers wave in the wind more freely.

Its freedom should not be taken for granted.

Without being trapped, it would not have known of its own depravity.

Now sober and alert it warns its young of the dangers abroad.

The swallow now recognizes the importance of true liberty.

It has every reason to give thanks. It has every reason to fly with joy.

Its life now an instrument of gratitude, a display of grace.


In pain, time moves slower.

In the moment it may seem too much to bear.

The strains of life may seem beyond physical and mental capability.

But to those set free, the joy of the morning is greater than the sorrow of the night.

The fire of pain’s furnace refines the recipient of grace and breeds maturity and discipline.

Never did I learn more of grace than in the pit of pain.

In trials I recognized the fragility of the human body.

I realized the futility of former meaningless goals.

Now led to shift my eyes unto willing dependence.

In tribulation, pride’s pillar trembles but humility arises.

In my weaknesses, I find strength supplied.

In my sorrows, I know there is purpose and final restoration.

The swallow knows its days are few, so it gathers wisdom to live to the fullest.

It knows that the hunter will still hunt, but the swallow will still soar freely.

Notice how the swallow flies faster from the net than into it.

Faster it glides, faster it soars. Higher it climbs, higher it goes.

The newly found freedom is much sweeter than honey.

It will live to its last breath in gratitude to the deer.

A faithful friend, He has set me free!

It has learned that restoration may not be today or tomorrow but that it will appear one day.

There will be a day when there will be healing,

Every wrong righted, every longing face delivered, every just cause shown its worth.

The oppressed finally comforted, the weak made strong, the hopeless given a lasting hope.

Silence will be made up with songs of victory.

On that day, just as the Swallow soars, so will I.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73

Paul Varghese

Class of 2025