What Ties and Binds

First one..then another..and a third.

If I exhaled - I thought - they'd disappear. If I blinked...I'd open my eyes and find them gone away. That it was all an illusion..that my imagination was playing games and tricks...that what I believed was real..really wasn't.

I held my breath.

Within minutes - I recognized them as 'family'. An adolescent - pushing limits..spreading wings. A mother and father - not quite ready to let go.

I watched as they came together and pulled apart...as they swam circles and danced round one another. I watched as the mother hovered..as the father protected. I watched at the young adult's attempts to forge ahead....and then watched some more as that same child retreated back into what was safe.

And - I wondered. Is it genes that binds and ties them? Or - is it something much stronger and deeper  than that? And then - I wondered about family..and what it means..and what it's about...and who's to say? And finally - I asked myself what makes these three birds any different from us?