In the spring of 2017 the view from my home office included a newly built robin’s nest. It was tucked into the floor joists of our deck above. At any given moment during my work day the robins could be seen flying to and from this nest tending to their young.
Once their eggs had hatched the real fun began. Our pup Sydney could hear the little birds under her feet when she was standing on the deck above them. She would sit for hours peering through the floor boards of the deck to try to catch a glimpse of the little balls of fluff snuggled deep within their high-rise home. And each little chirp was often matched by a loud bark from Sydney.
This of course concerned the pair of robins taking care of their young. And so what was once a place for silent retreat swaying in our hammock, turned into an air show even the Blue Angels would have been impressed to witness. One by one, each taking their turn, the robins would dive bomb Sidney and anyone else who happened to be “resting” on the deck above their little nursery. It was exciting to say the least and often brought back memories of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. Perhaps you’ve seen it? If memory serves me correctly, it was titled “The Birds”.
One day, while I was working, I noticed a change in the robin’s behavior. The parents of these young chicks weren’t spending as much time within the nest as before. Instead, they had settled on a place down below their nest and seemed to be calling out to their young. And so it had begun. The quest to free their children from the confines of their nest.
At one point I was amazed to see one of the babies take what I gather was his first attempt at flying. He furiously flapped his little wings and sure enough, his chubby little body lifted from the nest below. And as quickly as he rose, he also plopped back down beside his siblings. I cannot tell you how amazing it was for me to see that. It was a split second in time that could have been easily missed. Within hours of that little miracle, the whole robin family was gone. And I thought to myself, that was God. Only God could move me to stop my work at precisely the right moment to witness such a sweet little miracle.
Now jump ahead a few months. I am writing you from my new home office. It is set up in a newly vacated “nest”. My youngest son moved out just two weeks ago. And oddly enough, the view from this room includes another empty nest. One that I didn’t even realize was there before. As I peer out my new office window at the nest up above, I am filled with all the emotions one would expect. I am excited for my son, but also feeling a little lost and sad. After all, being a mom has been the most significant, rewarding and challenging aspects of my life. I’m not really sure who I am outside of this blessed role. Where do I go from here? And what do I do with all of this love? Can I still bake for him and cook his favorite meals? What does God have planned for me now? Is this the end or a wonderful new beginning? Can anyone relate?
Looking back now, I think it no accident to have witnessed the first flight of that sweet little bird. God has a way of touching our hearts with His love, sometimes even before we realize we need Him. No, I won’t be looking at this empty nest the same ever again. And even though I still feel sad at times, I know that I have a Father who loves me dearly. One that has a good plan for my life. And from this empty nest will fly many words of encouragement, many loving memories and precious moments to share.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV
“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message
I’m on unfamiliar ground, but ready to glow on!