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Wind Beneath Their Wings

Sometimes nature sends you a message.

Just as our daughter is graduating from high school and getting ready to leave home for college, there arefour robins nests surrounding our house. It seems nature is giving me a front row seat to the lesson of how to let our children fly.

From our dining room window I can peek into one of the nests. I watched as the egg hatched and the featherless baby bird struggled to move its scrawny body. Every day he got stronger. Being privy to accelerated “bird time” it amazed me just how quickly he grew.

On one of my bird watching days I was confused because the mother’s feathers were now spotted, and then I realized – it was the baby bird filling that nest completely. He had grown up.

I watched as he looked around at his bush, occasionally opening his mouth, waiting for his mother to fill it. I saw him gain courage and hop to the edge of his nest.

The next time I looked, the nest was empty.

How did the mother bird do it? And how had I missed it?

I realized that I had been watching that nest because I wanted to see the exact moment when the mother pushed her baby out of the nest.

And I had missed it.

Was she feeling the tapestry of emotions I had been feeling these past few months? Nostalgia, sadness, joy, anticipation, excitement, pride and immense love all rolled up together.

Suddenly, I felt a rush of excitement and exhilaration as I realized that our baby bird was now soaring through the air, feeling the wind through his feathers for the first time, leaving the safety of the bush that up to that day had been his entire world.

Somehow I knew that the mother bird was doing just fine.

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