There’s a bird’s nest inside this birdhouse outside my window.
Today I sit and watch as two little wrens go in and out. They fly away, return, then leave again. There are chicks in that nest, I think.
I marvel at the energy and devotion of the two parents, for both of them are involved in the feeding of these babies. Their search for food on endless flights seems to occupy every single moment of the day. Hard workers, are these little birds. And demanding are the babies.
One day, and I likely won’t see it happen, the babies will leave the nest to fly away, as will the parents. The nest will sit empty inside the birdhouse for weeks, months, nearly a year I suppose, until the next breeding season.
What will those hard-working parents do? How will they spend their time now? Do they realize it is but a reprieve until next season, next year, when they will be back at this hard work again? Or perhaps, with a limited view of time cycles and the future, do they fly away with a song, set free at last?
In either case, I suspect they rest, and play, if birds can play. Maybe they soak in the sun on their backs, ruffle their feathers in a soft breeze, and drink in the fresh and cool summer rains.
Our children have left this nest, but we have not. We are still here. But the nest feels empty now with the cessation of incessant needs, and the purpose that energized our flights back and forth dissipated.
How will we spend our our time now?