guarding the nest

Bird eggs. Some still looking intact. On sidewalks and lawns. Some broken in half, the middle oozing out. Others, just shell. We see them when we walk these days. It’s a wild time for nature. The foraging. Nesting. Sunlight, darkness, extreme changes of weather. Survival.

Last night, we purchased a fifty-pound bag of black, oiled, sunflower seeds and a ten-pound bag of cracked yellow corn with purple corn from Tractor Supply. I can’t help wondering if seeing all those birds never to be prompted the purchase. I opened the bags. My wife filled the feeders. The black squirrel found the seed immediately.

Not sure if there are always so many birds that don’t make it, or if we are just noticing it this Spring. I’ve seen eggs out of nests my whole life. Even baby birds. But I’ve never noticed them like this. So many. It’s as if birds are revolting. They know what’s coming. That all that work to bring babies into this world isn’t worth it. It’s too cruel.  Too much pain, disappointment, worry. Or it’s that there’s nothing they can do. No matter how much they guard the nest, warm the eggs, they can’t fend off the predators. Blackbirds, crows, blue jays.

They keep trying. Have hope. But sometimes, no matter what you do, there are other plans out there, waiting to unfold.

It’s strange.

Yesterday, my daughter came downstairs. We’re all remote again. I’ve been here, working every day from the basement, since COVID started. But now, at least for a week or two, we’re all here—school, work, doing what we do. Anyway, she came downstairs during a break between class. She had doodled/sketched a bird in black ink. It’s either hanging upside down or rocketing through the sky. And next to it is the simple, beautiful word—Bird. In her eleven-year-old handwriting.

I love my kids. I’ll do whatever I can to help them succeed. To give them a leg up in this world. They are good, smart people, making good choices, doing what they can to enjoy life, please us, play by the rules. It’s sobering to think what waits. I know they will be okay, no matter what. But it’s hard because as they grow, there’s nothing I can do but hope. Guard the nest. Fend off the predators.

~ KJ

One response to “guarding the nest”

  1. I love spending time reflecting nature and what’s going on around me, thinking and wondering how come I feel like I need to do what I can like feeding stray cats, the birds, fish, and turtles. I feel a greater harmony and peace of mind as you did today. Like your daughter I to will paint or create an image on paper because it means something to me to her to you. I remember being a young mom who would do anything to protect her sons & family, I still do now with grandchildren too. Enjoy every moment it goes by fast in life.

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