Juan de Capistrano

Today is the day that, by tradition, the swallows leave Mission San Juan Capistrano, a day not much celebrated. The swallows’ sprint return is a huge deal, but for some reason people don’t much like to talk about their departure. Sad omen of coming winter or something, though frankly winter is no particular reason to fret on the coast of what we now call Southern California. Capistrano was a Franciscan who saw the light enough to leave the order and marry, then saw a second light of some sort and left the marriage to go back to the order. His Christian duties included raising an army against the Turks, who no doubt had not seen any of the appropriate light and were therefore worth killing. It’s apparently what was done to non-Christians back in the day, though we’re thankfully beyond that now – aren’t we?