“I’ve often said that the most important thing you can give your children are wings – cause you’re not always going to be able to bring food to the nest. Sometimes they’re going to have to be able to fly by themselves.” Elizabeth Edwards
On Friday, 13 days after they hatched, the baby robins left the nest. I was privileged to witness this truly blessed event. When I heard the noise and spotted them, 2 of the 3 were hopping around the tree and trying to maintain their balance. One flew away to the parents across the street and the other moved from tree to bush and back to tree where she stayed for an hour and a half.
No matter how hard they coaxed her, she was content to stay in amongst the branches. As the shade turned to sun, she still stayed calling every so often to her parents who answered her. They brought food close by to entice her, and momma even flew next to her to model flying from the same branch. Still she stayed barely moving for her balance was precarious. It is amazing how fast they grow. The feathers needed for flying now there. The small tail barely visible.
You could see she lacked confidence to fly that far to the family. Still I was adverse to moving her. I am of the belief that we shouldn’t interfere. My husband who returned almost 2 hours into this ordeal is of the philosophy that they need a little shove so as not to be food for a predator. So he rustled the tree and the baby flew to the lawn. She continued to call for her parents reluctant to cross the street. Eventually the family was reunited and they were gone.
This event of fledging has had such a far-reaching effect on me. Actually the entire robin story that started this spring has been enlightening and brought many lessons to the forefront. I do believe that signs, messages or omens are sent to us. If we watch for the signs, we can see the lesson or path.
As I watched the reluctant robin (I call her Prudence or Prud for short), I saw my life, myself, on that branch. I felt a connection to Prud. Just leaving the nest a bit, staying close to home. Having that separation anxiety. Trying my wings but always returning home to safety…still cautious, still not feeling like I could fly alone…lacking that confidence, the balance.
I was shoved from the nest when my parents finally moved away. Left on my own to find my way. It isn’t until recently that I have truly flown on my own. Still a bit cautious. The wonderful quote by the amazing Elizabeth Edwards is so true. I do have my wings. Always have, just wasn’t sure I could really fly…I mean really fly high…soaring up amongst the clouds and sun. Feeling the wind move through my feathers.
I must say I was totally unprepared for the intense emotions of this joyous event. They were mixed with such sorrow that it was truly overwhelming. Not being a parent, I can only imagine the many times these emotions are felt. Each of those first times ( first word, first step, first day of school, graduation, marriage, grandchildren etc). But I am content to feel a bit of this through the robins.
Having these amazing birds with us for months now has been so rewarding for me. I feel the pain and emptiness now that they
are gone. I miss checking on them every morning before I went to work and every evening when I returned. I do hope as the babies continue to mature they may still be around until it is time to fly south. I also hope that this wonderful family returns to our home where they will always be welcome. They are part of our family now, forever etched on our hearts.
I was at that time like a fledgling swallow living high up in a niche in the eaves, who from time to time peeps out over the top of its nest with its little bright eyes.
Special Note: To read more about the robins and their journeys with us check out my posts: Gift, Garden Journal-May, Distraction, Garden Journal-Promise of June, Garden Journal-July Heats Up, Hope Grows in August, and Success.
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