Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Gift

For the past 2 years (and our anniversary this year), Ryan and I have passed on buying gifts for each other and have gotten tattoos. Last Christmas Ryan got an anchor and I got a cherry blossom tree. This year I got a swallow and Ryan got a Day of the Dead skull. We have only taken quick pictures on Ryan's iPhone, so they aren't the best quality, but you get the idea...

The swallow, as well as bluebirds and sparrows, has always had a symbolic meaning for sailors because, before modern navigation technology, these birds were usually the first sign that land was near. A swallow tattoo for a sailor reflected his hope of coming home safely.

Another fact is that swallows return home every year, no matter where they are. Every year, Mission San Juan Capistrano in California plays host to this wonder of nature. A flock of the tiny birds numbering in the tens or even hundreds of thousands descends upon the mission in a grand display of the workings of migration.

The swallow is a bird that chooses a mate for life. Therefore a swallow tattoo is also a symbol for love and loyalty to the family.

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