Would this be the day he or she began to explore the wider world beyond this home of twigs and leaves in the crepe myrtle just outside the kitchen window?
I poured a cup of coffee, called my neighbor who I've learned also loves
birds to update her of the potential for flight as little tweets continued.
Before settling in to write, I looked out again to find the source of tweeting, the little life I've watched in the nest for two weeks, whose mother I've watched for much longer sitting on still uncertain legs perched on the hood of the neighbor's car.
That was two hours ago as I've continued periodically to find myself at the kitchen, actually in the kitchen window standing on my own perch a bar stool providing better access to view this new life leaving home.
Twice the little robin fluttered from the car's bumper then hood to the nearby garbage can before loosing his balance or flying into the wall.
After not seeing it for awhile, I made my way outside where the neighbor found it perched at the base of the crepe myrtle. How can some thing so small feel so precious?
I now of course want to regularly run out to ensure a neighboring cat doesn't find little bird. I want to hover as it grows to ensure the hawk occasionally circling above doesn't discover it. I want to dig worms for its sustenance in case the mother doesn't return. She came around twice with food but I question whether that's enough for one so young. Then I recall she also had another in the nest, another child that seems to have left over the weekend. Like a mother working two jobs, she may be flying back and forth with worms to feed two not to mention herself.
The last time I watched this process from start to leaving was nine years ago. A robin nest in the corner of our carport arbor became the delivery room for five babies. My nephews who were closer to baby birds than young adults in my mind at that time were visiting as the last ones flew from the nest. Somewhere in a drawer upstairs I have recorded on cassette the flight of one into our house. It not so gracefully flew right into the siding on the house then recovered on the gutter's edge before leaving.
This robin is precious to me because it is life reminding me of the preciousness of moments, moments of life that tick away on time's clock.
Outside the kitchen window, the nest once a womb, once home is now empty.
Humankind, you and I, stand on uncertain legs on the edge of home, deciding like the little robin when and whether to fly.
After watching this dear bird off and on throughout the day and ensuring a neighbor's cat found lounging under the car didn't "find" it also (though the cat obviously knew it was there), I awoke in the middle of the night to hear a down pouring rain. Oh how it rained and I worried. I thought of parents concerned for their child's safety and my own mother worried about me as I flew to California at twenty and Africa at twenty-two.
I lay in bed that night with my hands raised in prayer asking that the little bird be protected wherever it might be.
The next morning an eerie quiet pervaded our yard where usually there are sounds of robin, cardinal, wren, blue jay and crow. I hoped the quiet was related to the skies still gray dampness.
That was two morning's ago.
This morning I pull into my driveway to see two robins, the larger of the two see sawing back and forth, bobbing its beak to the ground then back, modeling for a smaller one how to find worms. The larger one bobbed then the smaller one imitated. I stood and watched. I don't know if this is 'my' baby bird but I want to believe so. Regardless I watched the instructor of the two hop from the asphalt to soil where it found a worm which was immediately delivered to the younger one.
I too was delivered nourishment, food from nature feeding my soul instructing me in the beautiful ways of nature.