Thursday, February 11, 2010

A TIME TO FLY-Memories To Inspire

As I sat on my deck one afternoon lost in my own world I heard a jingling sound like a pocket full of loose change. I soon realized it was only the sound of a Pileated Warbler who had recently laid eggs in a gourd that was hanging from the deck. The gourd had been there for some time with no activity, but in the Spring of 1986 a mother started her nest.

As I watched her build her nest my thoughts were on my firstborn who was getting ready to graduate high school and had was to leave for the Navy in a few weeks. Day after day I watched as the nest was so meticulously built and reminisced about my son and the preparations I had made for his arrival.

Soon the nest was finished and four tiny eggs appeared. Each day I would see the father fly away to find food to bring to the mother bird, never venturing too far.

I had never, nor since, watched a whole lifetime take place in front of me in such a short time. It became a ritual to sit and watch in the afternoons as I waited for my own children to come home and tell me about their day.

In late May I saw more activity around the gourd and realized the eggs must have hatched. As mother and father flew away bringing back food I began to hear little chirps coming from inside. One day I sneaked a peek and saw four little beaks wide open. The significance of what I was seeing still had not registered until one evening as I watched and it became obvious they had reached the age to leave the next.

I became so sad and realized that leaving the nest was what my son was getting ready to do, and time was fast approaching. My mind raced with questions:

Had I prepared him well enough to survive?

Had I taught him enough about family and their importance?

Had I taught him how to trust in God, and to pray for guidance. And had I taught him to wear his name proud?

At that moment I wanted to sit down with him and fill his head with all the information I may have missed. The one thing I was sure of, I had shown him love and only prayed that that would sustain him. Surely he knew I would always be there.

Coming back to reality I saw a little bird perched on the side of the nest teetering. The mother was in a nearby tree encouraging the little one to take wings and fly. It was the most wonderful experience to see each little bird as it took to the air and flew to the nearest limb. My little boy’s first steps, me there ready to catch him, just as the mother bird was there coaxing and encouraging. The baby bird gained courage and soon flew a little farther. I knew at that moment my son would be all right, but would never return to live in my home again, but always in my heart.

Later, after we dropped him off at the hotel where he would spent the night before leaving for boot camp, my husband, daughter and me were very quiet on the drive back home. The next day every airplane that flew over I felt his presence and wondered if he was on the edge of the nest teetering.

Our daughter wanted to move into his room, I’m sure to make her feel closer to him. As I began to prepare the room for her I picked up his things and would cry. I smelled his sheets, touched his clothes, and cried some more. One day my favorite scripture Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 came to me, a time for all seasons and a time for every purpose under Heaven. At that time I realized what a gift I had been given, watching the life of the birds evolve at that particular time in my life.

We give birth, we love, we nurture. It came time in my son’s life to leave the nest. It became his--- TIME TO FLY.

Linda Carothers

January 9, 2007

Post a Comment