Fledgelings

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees – The Sound of Music

Robin Fledgelings ©Nissa Gadbois

Robin Fledgelings ©Nissa Gadbois

Robin Fledgelings ©Nissa Gadbois

I walked up to the nest to see how our little robin chicks were doing.  As usual, Mama Robin was perched in a nearby branch, watching and talking.  I said good morning and walked to the rake to discover just one little fledgling left to try his wings.  He looked up at me with a face that looked a little forlorn.  I gave him some encouragement, told him he could do it because the rest of his siblings had gone.  Down below him in the tall grass was one of them.  He lifted his head and opened his mouth wide, as if he was expecting me to have a snack.  “No, little bird.  It’s time for you to fend for yourself.”

It’s so much like letting my own grown children go.  At some point, they have to try making their own way, looking after themselves.  They need to see what they can do.  It is so frightening, so difficult to let them go.  But when you see them spread their wings and fly, it is breathtaking.  They may falter a bit and wobble.  They may go a different way than you taught them to go, but they’re flying.  And if you love them – and if they know that you love them – they’ll return to the nest with gifts of their own.