This is the seasonal phrase for this time of the year. “Black birds” here mean house swallows and the whole phrase means house swallows leave for the south in fall. According to a folklore, swallows have always been a symbol for happiness. The story goes if they come to your house and build a nest every year, they should bring happiness. My mother’s natal home was just like that, which made my grandpa very happy.
We haven’t enjoyed calligraphy lessons in our usual classrooms since February last year. My present teacher told us her students that we should learn calligraphy copying especially at times like this. However, I just can’t stop myself turning to my first teacher’s calligraphy that has been so familiar to me since my early childhood rather than the classics respected by all the calligraphy learners of all ages and cultures.