We have waited so long with camera in hand. The best view comes with the window open but after the overnight frost, it is soon too cold. We watch until the work of the day calls. But by then I’m hooked and take my laptop to the kitchen table and begin to write. For some perverse reason I want to say that I was there when he finally flew away, noting the hour and where he spent his first moments on land. When I was young I thought birds lived in nests, but no, when they leave the nesting place there is no turning back. The little ones will have to find their own food, foraging for worms and insects.
Within a week, two granddaughters found baby birds struggling on the ground—too early falling or being pushed from the nest. They both wanted to rescue the birds, finding earthy food for them and moving them without touching to a safer place. We know and I think they do too that the birds will not survive but they do what they can to make their parting comfortable.
My thoughts go to last children when they leave the proverbial nest. Mine did not seem particularly reluctant to leave—she longed for a different scene than the one we had imported her into. But over the years, both of us hover around the nest from time to time when one of us needs the other for the comfort of home. My parents raised my siblings and me to fly from the nest and I was like that mother robin cheering and trying to convince my own kids that they could fly.
Little bird, you don’t have to be in hurry even though I’m watching and waiting. There is plenty of time to make your move. I know you are scared—we all were once there on the brink. But if you are able, fly away, carrying the comfort of home within you until you raise your own young next spring. Perhaps you’ll come back to this white pine so we can watch as you cheer your own children to take flight.