I have had moments where I really wondered if my life is for the birds. That is such a common slang. However, if I consider what I’ve just asked myself, the reality, in the bigger picture, some of their logic makes sense.
Last year a family of robins took up residence in my back yard. I watched them from early spring when they arrived. Most of my other birds had already filled several of my rental units in the mature trees around the yard. But this mother to be, had made her own decision to build. I didn’t think she’d made a sound choice. Too risky. There wasn’t much room…and what if the foundation wasn’t solid enough for the nest?
A good choice… (I thought)… would have been:
The High Rise…
But where she decided to build would have stressed me to the nines! I’m sure Mr. Robin would have been okay to settle into a pre- built, but he obviously went along with whatever she wanted. Smart male.
I would have chosen the main floor of: ‘The Two Story Whitehouse:
Or: The Country Cottage Bungalow… (however, it probably needed too much inside work and doesn’t have a deck).
The economy condo just needed some paint….
But she wanted none of those. She wanted her home custom built and with a spectacular view. I have to admit, that part, I understood.
Well they worked and they worked. I did my best to help with the decorating supplies. I used the tree branches to hang out strips of colored tissue paper, ribbons, colorful yarn, shreds of wool, even cotton balls. The location she had chosen was in the farthest corner of my eaves where the roof overhangs generously allowing them a cathedral ceiling. They were closed in by my large apple tree, hidden from view. A very safe, private spot overlooking the entire yard, open concept…
Hey! She held out for what SHE wanted. How does that saying go ? “Happy wife…Happy life. He’s got it figured out.
It was made known to me from an early age that if it was in the Bible, don’t argue or question it. Mom and Dad had raised me believing that the Lord loves every living creature. The birds instinctively know this and the Bible tells us to watch the birds of the air and how they do not worry about anything. It’s true. If it rains, they become quiet because they are bunked into some cozy place and they are enjoying a restful time.
Lesson at least # 51…. for me…
Take a rest from worrying about things I cannot change or have any influence over. Most things we worry about (myself anyways) haven’t even happened yet and we don’t know if it will…Or it has happened and there is no way of changing it either way.
I never once saw that female robin flapping her wings nearly having a nervous breakdown because tomorrow is the family reunion and the weather forecast is calling for thunder showers all day!
They never worry about where their food is coming from or where they will live. So why should I stress if the electrician couldn’t make it over to install my new plugs and lighting…It’s summer. I should be painting outside anyways.
And what a big deal! The flooring guy never showed up and is 2 weeks late. REALLY? It’s a non life threatening issue. Perhaps he’s going through some serious family or even health issues that he has to deal with. Mrs. Robin wouldn’t hold that against someone. She would simply stretch out the cotton balls across the bottom of her home and…WAH – LAH! New area rugs!
I continued to watch my robins daily and they were amazing. They worked, they gave themselves time out together & played in the birdbath. They were getting ready for parenthood and never went far from their new home. There was one mishap…
But she focused forward. The rest of her family needed her to continue and she couldn’t do anything about what happened.
Life begins, life ends, life begins again. That’s what it says in the Bible…And Mom and Dad would have told me the same thing.
Mrs. Robin had settled in for the final ‘nesting’ stage and rarely left…Soon there was tiny chirping sounds from the nest. I kept the birdbath filled with fresh water, warmed daily by the sun and she really enjoyed her free moments while Dad watched the nest from my apple tree.
I made sure I watered the gardens frequently so yummy earth worms were easily available for quick take outs. She waited for me to do that and hopped ahead of me listening to my voice.
It was pretty awesome when I got my first sighting of the babies early one morning. After that I waited close by, camera and coffee close at hand hoping for the first photos but by the time I could get anything they had some feathers. These photos were taken after they’d grown enough to be seen.
Mom was out getting groceries while I ‘birdsat’ the brood of three from my lawn chair. Nothing better go wrong on my watch. At first I could only see the tips of little scruffy heads. They never made a peep or moved the entire time she was away. It fascinated me that they had the instinct to know they must be perfectly quiet for their safety. As soon as they realized their mom was near once again out came tiny stretched skinny heads, mouths open to whatever she offered and they had excellent sets of lungs! After that it was nap time for all. Dad went out and did the shopping for the next meal and got to spend some time doing whatever ‘guy robins’ do when away from the nest. What amazing devoted parents they were.
Towards the end of summer, the babies were growing and finally venturing from the nest.
I worried about them as if they were pets but as much as I wanted to tame them, I made sure they remained wild. I only got these close up photos with my zoom.
That mother trained up her children with the lessons they needed to know for survival and then she let them go.
It’s easy to say: “Oh, they’re just birds.” But can anyone say for sure that she never felt twinges as a mother as they left her? They have incredible instincts and memories, so how can we predict what they feel in those little beating hearts of theirs?
I won’t touch that one. I know that all through last summer while watching them, I saw a loving little family who had given me hours of simple happiness and gratitude. They gave me the opportunity of observing them close up and personal as I followed their growth.
Two of the young had already left and one was hanging around getting too comfortable around me. Mother stayed for a few days coaxing, calling and then finally she swooped down and actually pushed the young one off my bench and then it realized it could fly.
This is the last photo I took of them. They were around mixing with other birds and then eventually, I couldn’t recognize one robin from another. This year robins did not nest in my yard. They visited the feeder and the birdbath but never nested. I was a little disappointed. I thought the second generation would have come back for sure. But they were only here for a season. That is what we are given so I am thankful I enjoyed them, took photos & wrote about them in my journal. And now my blog.
You may think its your very own yard but it isn’t. And you can’t always pick who wants to be your neighbors. I have had a pair of new ones camping in my Maple Tree and although loud mouths, they have been quite entertaining….completely different and I am not sure if I want to renew their lease. Two crows, whom I have named Cheech & Chong. They are very amusing because they argue all the time. I think that’s why my smaller birds aren’t around. It’s like “Five o’clock Somewhere”, all day, every day, in my back yard.
Lesson # ??? You can’t always choose whom you ONLY want in your life. Some may not be as sweet and pleasant to be around but they are necessary tools for God to use in building character within us. Mom told me this all the time, when she listened to my woes about those mean neighbor boys and although that was long ago, things haven’t really changed over the years. Mean is always around to test us on our reactions.
These crows, Cheech & Chong, are clever characters! They know me and they’ll stop arguing while I talk to them and then faithfully answer me back in a pleasant, soft tone. I am serious! They follow me from tree to tree, as I work around the front yard to the back. I’m sure they fly along sometimes when I go for my walks. They sit on the lower power lines that connect the house and garage and will not make a sound while I’m playing music on the deck (Raggae of course). I’ve discovered that Cheech & Chong are quite liberal in their taste of music because they also like my: Good Ole’ Time Rock & Roll!
I warned Cheech & Chong if they want to stay for the rest of the season, they better not leave any trademarks on the top of my car or windshield. They’ve been 100% polite about that….and they never party late at night…
Thanks for reading this crazy mixed message blog…I’ll be back soon.
P.S. That weather prediction for the family reunion was wrong. It was a perfect, sunshiny day.
Memory Lane @ www.pagesofmymindblog.com