My baby bird has left the nest. She’s following the migratory path of others her age and is starting her adult life 800 miles away in a place very different than the hot, southern clime she grew up in.
I realize the universe has been sending me quiet gifts in the last few weeks. My sweetie (Steve) and I have been slowly transforming our small, ignored backyard for over a year. And by we, I mean Steve, though I do offer moral support and ideas from Pinterest. Most of his hard work is unseen; replacing, repairing and building. He’s worked hard at creating a solid foundation for our garden. We now have a new deck and the garden pots are filled with freshly planted, bright yellow and orange marigolds. We have an outdoor place for our early morning coffee and our end-of-day conversations. It is still a work in progress and several seasons will pass before this small garden space will be complete.
The addition of a birdfeeder preceded my own baby bird’s leaving by a few weeks. My sweetie was amazed at how much time my daughter and I (and the cat) watched with simple enjoyment. He always had a birdfeeder at his home in his life before me. My daughter had menageries of animals growing up; cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, fish and even a hedgehog. But there was never a birdfeeder in our yard.
We watched in amusement the squirrels try and try again to learn how to get to the feeder. It finally took a leap of faith as they learned to jump from fence to feeder. They eventually accomplished their goal, even if they fell a few times in their attempts.
I love hearing the cooing sound of the pair of morning doves that live high in the trees, as much as I love seeing the vibrant splash of the red cardinal when he flies by. Some birds are colorful and stand out, while others are plain and blend into the scenery. I’ve learned that there are bossy birds and meek birds. Some birds come alone, others come in pairs and some only come in a group. Some play well together and some are very territorial. They don’t all eat the same way; some eat at the feeder and others eat the seeds that fall on the ground and some even feed each other. They are all unique.
My only child is now all grown up. She’s been busy this past week creating her own nest in her new city. I’ve enjoyed our FaceTime visits as she shows me her new place and tells me of her daily adventures. I ooh and ahh and coo, just like a mama bird does. She will soon have a new flock of friends. I know I’ve taught her to spread her wings. And just like the birds I enjoy watching in my backyard, I’ll enjoy watching her soar and wonder where the winds of life will take her.
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Oh this was exquisite. I know you are a proud Mama Bird.
Lisa, it was your blog post on symbolism that inspired it. So thank you.
What a beautiful post, Connie. I love the parallels between the bird and your daughter and can relate as my son goes to high school next year and even though he’s not leaving home, he’ll be leaving childhood and the relative safety of primary school behind. I wrote a poem about him growing up at the end of his first year at school called: The Acorn. I posted a reworked version a few months ago, which you might relate to at this point in your life.
I also wanted to introduce you to another blogger who takes some stunning photos, particularly of birds and I’ve marvelled at her photos of the hummingbirds, which we don’t have in Australia. Here’s a link to Cindy’s blog: http://cindyknoke.com/
I also enjoyed reder about your progress on the garden front. we recently built a veggie patch but are yet to really plant something other that the sprouting corn cobs, which i fished out of my worm farm.
However, we are currently focused on the house and today I posted a more comic piece on the joys of renovation.
Thanks for your kind response. I’m glad it spoke to you. There is such a bittersweetness to our children growing up. But it is our job to teach them to fly on their own. I didn’t know that there weren’t hummingbirds in Australia. We plan on adding a hummingbird feeder soon. I’m sure my backyard will inspire more blog posts—there’s still work to be done.
Yes. Gardens are like renovation! I realised I forgot to put a link thropugh to the poem about our son growing up and I think you’d relate to it now: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-acorn/ Take care & best wishes, Rowena
How exciting to have your child on the cusp of adult life. It’s got to be bittersweet. All the best to her on her journey.
Carol, It is exciting AND bittersweet. I am very grateful that technology helps keep us closely connected.
I have one child so I physically felt this post, Connie. I miss the days of when he was small but seeing him become such a happy, responsible and caring man is just as wonderful. Your baby bird has flown but you are bonded to each other always.
This is a gorgeous piece, Connie, and you are a beautiful writer.
Cathy, your comment really means a lot to me. You and I will always understand the wonder of having only one child and how much we invest in them. Thanks so much.
Connie what a lovely analogy and story! Thanks for sharing. (BTW I have a bird feeder right outside my office window. It never ceases to amaze me seeing these beautiful creatures up close and personal…)
Thanks Liz, We’ll be adding a hummingbird feeder sometime this summer.
This is so bittersweet Connie. At our cabin we enjoy watching the birds feeding right outside the window. We have also see a BEAR feeding in the bird feeder! I think your daughter will love the Windy City, but I am sure she will always miss that Southern drawl & Mama.
My baby girl is already loving the windy city, but ask me again in January! I can’t imagine a BEAR! The wildest critter I’ve ever had in the yard is a opossum!
Hi Connie…We worked together in CO in the summer of ’77. Lesa, you, and I had a wild and funny trip to New Orleans in ’78. I think it was at your family’s house there was a cool party with song and great food too. Nice job sharing your insights and experiences on this site…take care and all the best, Chris K.
Chris! What a delightful surprise to hear from you. I have the fondest memories of that summer in Colorado and I absolutely remember your visit down south. I also credit you with me knowing all the words to Margaritaville because we all would listen to the lyrics whenever it came on the radio that summer so you could learn all the words! Thanks for leaving a comment!