For the last six months or so, since Youngest Junior Hall’s been around, first one up has to let out Libs, the Tiny Terror, and run out and get the paper. This morning, it was pouring buckets.
Usually, this is a waiting game between the two of us but not today. Youngest Junior Hall bounded down the stairs.
Youngest Junior Hall has been in quite the jolly mood because after nearly a dozen years of being away at school and working and living on his own and then coming back here for what was just going to be a few months and getting stuck in a pandemic–whew!–he’s leaving.
He’s leaving tomorrow, in fact, and so he’s been eating even more than usual, like he’s a camel or something, storing up food and water. He’s spent the week, packing up his stuff from every room in the house, except perhaps and ironically, not the dining room.
Anyway, we’re both pretty darn excited about tomorrow’s exodus. And then along came the wren.
I have a wren’s nest on the screened-in porch and just yesterday, the eggs hatched. Around lunchtime, whilst preparing to fix the feast, I heard this racket out on the screened-in-porch. A bird was loudly singing, screeching, really, and then bang! The bird flew into the screen. And I suddenly thought about Momma Wren!
See, when it’s raining, we take Libs out through the basement so Precious won’t get terribly wet. So the screened-in porch door was still locked! I dashed out and opened the door so Momma Wren could get lunch for her babies–and then I had this moment, remembering another wren from a story at least ten years ago.
I haven’t thought of that story since…well, usually once I get a book with a story in it and promote it, I’m moving on to the next story. But maybe the Good Lord–for a variety of reasons–thought I needed to read that story again.
I wrote about a time when Sally the Crazy Dog was still around and another Momma Wren was nesting on my screened-in porch. I was talking to my mother, one of those long late afternoon conversations when I would walk and talk from one end of my deck to the other, when suddenly my dog–my bird dog–raced out to the porch.
I nearly broke my neck, getting to the nest to make sure the little fledglings weren’t hopping around anywhere. I knew from experience that Sally would do what comes naturally if she got there first! Fortunately, the birds were fine.
My mom thought I was crazy, worrying about those birds. “With all you’ve got going on, I can’t believe you’re worried about birds,” she said. And it was true, there was a lot going on with all those Junior Halls then.
And there’s a lot going on today. But things worked out okay all those years past, and things will work out okay someday soon, too. Meanwhile, I won’t have to cook up enough to feed a small army every day. But I’ll probably fix some lemon poppy seed muffins and a batch of brownies–from a box, y’all. The pandemic hasn’t turned me into a star baker–for Youngest Junior Hall to take with him.
I’d already set the mixes on the counter long before I read my wren story. But the last couple of lines from my story ensured that I wouldn’t forget to pack plenty of baked goods and plenty of prayers, for the journey tomorrow:
I guess it’s just a mothering thing. Birds or kids, I do what I can, when it comes to young ones leaving the nest.
~From “Leaving the Nest” by Cathy C. Hall (The Ultimate Bird Lover)