Friday, May 20, 2011

Not just for the birds...


I always anticipate the return of the birds following a long, cold winter. And, it occurred to me recently that I've learned a lot from watching my feathered friends over the years. See if any of this rings true to you, too:

Part of parenting is knowing when to 'nudge':  

Once, I watched transfixed as a mama bird was quite literally using her beak to nudge her little ones right out of the nest (perched precariously above our concrete driveway). Had those little guys been ill-prepared to fly, they surely would've met their demise. 

Though they struggled a bit at first, squeaking and squawking all the way...every single one of them flew. That mama bird understood that part of parenting is knowing when to nudge.  

Amid loss, find new focus: 

Years ago while living in the country, one of our ducks lost its mate to a coyote. That duck stood at the edge of our little pond and quacked the most mournful noises I've ever heard - as if its little duck heart was breaking. It was inconsolable. A few days later, we added some baby ducks to our animal menagerie and, lo-and-behold, that widowed duck 'adopted' the babies and from that point on had a new lease on life. 

While humans are undoubtedly more complicated, something tells me that finding new focus amid loss is as true for people as it is for birds.  

Home is worth fighting for: 

In nearly every place we've ever lived, spring brings at least one tenacious bird bound and determined to build a nest in a less-than-desirable (by our account) location. It appears, our business (the market) is no exception. 

Lately, we've been waging a losing battle with a bird above our back dock delivery door. The first nest showed up May 4th and The Grocer quickly took it down. It's not that we have anything against birds, but the back dock of a market really isn't the best (and safest) place for them. This week, the nest was back, bigger and stronger than ever. 

I'm not sure how this story will end, but birds seem to get it: home is worth fighting for.

Happy Weekend (hope yours includes some bird-watching:)
-The Grocer's Wife