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Empty Nest – Full Life

March 13, 2010

The hummingbird nest out our kitchen window.

There is a hummingbird nest right outside our kitchen window.   The male built the nest in the crook where two branches meet in the massive Cecil Brunner Rose bush that I love, but drives my husband nuts.  The biggest rose-bush in  the world is a Cecil Brunner.  It lives somewhere back east and sprawls for acres.  Ours is trying to compete even though Tim gets tough with it every year.  He loves that nest though, so my rose-bush has an indefinite reprieve.   

Eggs were laid and the parents sat on them through this wild winter, and each morning we looked to see if it made it through the night.  Soon there were babies, at least two and then before we knew it, before we had time to adjust, they were all grown up and gone.  

We are one part-time 18-year-old away from an empty nest ourselves.  This man-child has a full life of his own already, and we are but the stopping point in between his busy schedule.  The other three are out already.  Unlike the baby birds, it didn’t sneak up on us.  It was a long haul and a great journey whose wonders could never be fully described by words.  When we moved our family into this house, the yard was simple struggling grass trying to be a lawn.  The earth beneath the grass was like cement, in fact in places it actually was cement.  Together as a family, we converted the outside space into a thriving ecosystem of life.  I remember the kids helping to push the fence out toward the street so we could make our pond bigger.  They gave me rose bushes for my birthdays, and a Magnolia Tree one Mother’s Day.  

Turtles that live in our pond

When I look at the variety of plants in our yard that have both thrived and not,  plants that have been moved, sacrificed for change, or grown to be towering trees, I realize that my children are very much the same.  They are all individual creatures who bring that something special to the human ecosystem.  They have triumphed and they have failed. They have died back only to regrow more gloriously.  

My husband Tim and I have most days and nights to ourselves now and we relish every bit of it.   It is like we can sit in the garden of our efforts and enjoy the sight of these people we have so carefully fertilized, watch them take their places as citizens.  Our nest is not fragile and windblown, but it is otherwise every bit the same as the hummingbirds.  Like the adult birds who are now free to seek nectar both near and far, we are free to step into the next phase of our lives.  Tally Ho! 

Jack, Eva, Genavieve, Cole – Christmas 2008

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Cole permalink
    March 17, 2010 5:13 am

    This is really great. I have not read anything in weeks and and I can’t get enough of this. Can’t wait for the next post.

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