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life, flight, an empty nest

We had a nice time this spring watching an American Robin family come of age. All three eggs survived, they hatched, and grew at an alarmingly fast rate. Then they took flight. We still see them hopping awkwardly about the yard–following mama bird looking to her to show them where the good [singlepic=595,350,350] Aidan and the empty nestworms are, but we know this won’t last long. Soon they will loose their mottled breasts of youth and grow to raise their own families. It happens quickly.

Behind, our winged friends left this nest. The American Robin abandons it to build a new one once the chicks have flown. Then she begins the arduous task again. But such a treasure is a labor of love and one worth keeping should six-year-old hands find their way to it–the perfectly round inner cup, a lip of packed mud, Japanese lilac petals adorning the spray of outer twigs, grass, and the odd piece of string.

Aidan wants to save the nest in a cardboard box so that we can preserve the memory and the wonder of it all, but secretly we all hope the robin returns to our lilac tree, if not this year, then the next, so we can watch again as she cares for and raises her family. If not, we’ll have our packed away memory to peek at from time to time in the shadows of its box.

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