One big bird..in one big tree..with her five little baby ones peeking out from under.
A fierce mama warrior.
A brave and powerful one.
A one whose purpose at that particular moment was nothing other than to protect her brood. A mother hen and her poults.
Altho they were all safely tucked beneath her feather skirt..their curiosity got the better of them. First one..then another..until all five of them were seen looking down over the precipitous edge. Timid at first…sweet…curious..and terrified of what lurked beneath. They clung to the safety security and warmth of their feathered nest.
So basic. So simple. So easy.
We give life to our babies. We nourish and protect. We teach them right from wrong and how to defend themselves from potential predators. We harbor great hopes and big dreams. And we love them. More than anything else – we do that. And then – as their chubby little legs grow into long strong adult ones – we watch..as they walk away. Into their own lives. As they should.
It’s all a part of some big master plan. A story about life’s cycles and nature’s ability to renew and restore. To reproduce more of the same and of our own. To ensure the longevity and continuation of the species. To pass from one generation to another. A promise that one small part of us will continue on and forever after. The questions and answers were all sitting up there precariously perched in a one big tree.
Altho it is the male who spreads his seed..it’s the female who carries life forwards. Mothers are mothers are mothers. Everywhere. They cross all geographic lines..and all species. They will do anything and everything to save their children..to ensure that the life they have brought into this world succeeds them. They’ll attack at the slightest provocation. They’ll fight for the right of their offspring to be free. They’ll risk life and limb and valuable feathers for those that they’ve brought into this world. Those that they love. Those that come thru them.
In the kingdom of birds – letting go – is all a part of the process. There is no adolescent struggle and rebellion. There is no tug-of-war..no fight for autonomy and independence. When these babies are able to feed themselves and fly..they will be set free. It’s what’s expected. This mother’s job is complete. There will be a new brood in the next year..for which she will rise and do again.
As I looked up.. as they looked down at me – I couldn’t help but think of my own three. How I - once – was their center. How – they too…like the birds in the tree – preferred the softness of their mother’s warm nest to the excitement of the world beyond. And how they were once mine to feed..to nurture..to protect..to teach…and always - to love. I was a fierce mama warrior. A brave and powerful one. I was.
With some relief – I can say that that part of my job is now almost done. We’ve survived the push/pull of tumultuous adolescence. I waved the white flag. I surrendered. In the end..and as they should – they were victorious. They won the fight…we all won the war. They’ve grown their own wings and long strong legs. No longer am I needed in the way I once was. They’ve stepped themselves out into the world. For me – there’ll be no second brood or a chance to ‘do over’. As much as I’d like to take the lessons I’ve learned and apply them..I’m glad that that opportunity won’t knock on this door again.
Over and over I’m reminded that they are not ours to own. They come thru us. We hold them and hug them and love them. And then – like all other species..and is nature’s way – we must let them go.
My babies are flying strong and free.
They are grown..but they are not gone.
They are circling round and round now in their own lives..happy..strong..free.