The stork delivered Red Stone yesterday and I'm grateful to the Rebelight delivery team for its safe arrival. The cover with its stork profile means a lot to me. The original was taken while I was researching my family history in Ukraine by a fellow traveller, David Lange.
It was curious, having a nature guy along on a genealogy trip. While the rest of us were hunkered down trying to decipher old files in musty smelling archives, or interviewing seniors with mouths filled with gold, David was out photographing birds. And what beautiful photos he took!
Of course, it was impossible to miss the storks. The birds are huge and during May, when we were there, they are busy parents, soaring back and forth as they feed their young. Storks like the unpopulated rural villages, and the villagers like the storks. Storks bring good luck along with the babies. They work in pairs—kind of like our Canada Geese. And, like our geese, they return to their same nest year after year.
I'm thrilled to have this stork on my cover. It represents a nostalgic rural life in Eastern Europe that is being threatened by urban sprawl with its noise, air pollution and busy-ness. To me, the stork also represents the kulaks who worked hard on the land to support their families. I'm reminded of a story my mom shared about how as a young girl she could never quite catch the stork when it brought a new brother or sister.
I didn't catch sight of the stork delivering my book either. But then, maybe the storks are being replaced by drones!