Sunday, May 22, 2011

Leaving home....

The robins are gone. They didn't say goodbye. They never write or email or call. Just like children, huh?

One day they were featherless little birds with more beak than body and Mama was going crazy bringing them worms. Then, what seemed like the next day, they were little robins standing on the edge of the nest wondering how to fly. Now they are gone.

Some days I wake up and wonder where that little boy and little girl that used to live with us went. They left home like Frank, Lloyd and Wright, my names for the 3 baby robins on our front porch. I know we had them for years and years that seemed like decades and decades at the time, but where are those little toe-heads Josh and Mimi? How did it happen so fast? How did all those years disappear like the fog in the morning? Those wondrous little bodies I used to carry and hold so did they grow up and leave him so soon?

Today I went to church at St. James. I was sitting near the back and saw Scott walk in after communion. His wife and two children had been there from the beginning. After the recessional, I asked him if he'd like communion and he said yes. So we went down to the vesting room where I had a communion kit. Bryan had consecrated some wine and I had some consecrated wafers so I gave him communion while he held his daughter Sophia (which is Greek for 'wisdom', by the way) close to his face. I was reminded of holding my children like that when they were one year old, like Sophia. I almost told Scott to hold fiercely because the years would fly and like baby robins, so would Parker and Sophia....But I didn't. First of all, he would never believe me--having young children seems like the experience of eternity--and secondly, it was about me, not him, and my feeling of loss that Frank, Lloyd and Wright had fled the nest and long before them those little children I used to know.

Then, late this afternoon, I was out on the deck having a cigarette--I know, I know, don't start with me--and I heard unmistakeable robin calls coming from some of the trees around my house. I know Mama and Daddy's calls by heart, so, I thought it must be the babies (F, L and W) saying good-bye. Try as I might I never caught sight of them though they chirped for almost 10 minutes. But I did see a young cardinal, obviously a male because of the deep red of his head and back, but still with his darker baby feathers on his wings. There has been a pair of cardinals in our back yard all spring. I never found their nest, but this was obviously one of their chicks.

I was so happy I came in and fed our parakeets and gave them fresh water.

I've decided that birds are one of the great joys of my life. Even the hawk that flew over our yard about 60 feet up while I was hearing the robins. I pray the hawk won't find the robin babies. That bird was magnificent. I see an even bigger hawk on Rt. 9, coming back from Higganum, almost every time I drive that road. My favorite bird is the brown pelican whose largest nesting area is on Oak Island, NC, where we go in September. Expect lots of Pelican tales then. But I love all birds, even the hateful bluejay that shows up in our yard from time to time. Maybe not turkey buzzards, but I'll think that through.

Don't we all dream of being a bird? To fly, to soar, to know freedom from gravity, to meet the sky?

I feel enormously blessed that that faithful robin couple has chosen our front porch for two years running to have their nest. I hope they're back next year....It would be nice if they didn't pack up and leave so abruptly and never keep in touch....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.