Well, Mr. and Mrs. lost the first clutch to Northern Flickers competing for the nest early in the season. This is the second year this has happened.
But, determined, the Sparrows laid down new nesting for a second clutch. On Sunday, when I left town, I collected some documentation of the three little chumps that were voraciously eating and the determination of the adults that flew until sunset, feeding these little ones.
I returned Monday evening and couldn’t help but being hit with the complete silence at the kitchen window. The little guys were in no way ready, with enough secondary feathers, to fledge, so their demise was likely due to the Corvid family that successfully fledged two juveniles just four days earlier. The two juveniles have been so vocal and so needy. The adult crows have been determined, vigilant and doting parents (if crows can be parents). In the end, I’m reminded of how brutal nature can be. I also know clearly that life ends on a dime. While we wait nine months for the birth of a child, we have no idea the time or the place when that life will end. I don’t mean to be so ‘dark’ this morning, but I am very much aware of the immediacy of loss. And, there is no way that we can prepare ourselves.
I am also very impacted by how the instinct of the Sparrows tells them how hard to work for the life of their youngsters. I’m amazed by parents and their love. While I never saw it in myself, I now know how hard I worked to keep my children well, even though my resources were always meager. It can be unnerving when one witnesses parents who are failing their children. Even in nature, this happens, but instinct tells the adults to nurture and tend, feed and water. As detached as House Sparrows are from any emotional bond (I imagine) with the eggs and hatchlings, they certainly demonstrate commitment. Today, I am sad for the empty nest. I am also very mindful of lessons that the nest teaches me.
This morning, my prayers are specifically for those mothers and fathers who have lost children, through miscarriage or at birth, through illness or through tragic accident. There is nothing that can be said about this but again and again, “I’m sorry”. I can not imagine or know. I was speaking to my Auntie Eleanor, yesterday. Now in her nineties, still, when she speaks of my cousin Laura Lee who died as a child, she tears up. When my Auntie Ruth speaks of her daughter, Linda, who passed as a young adult, she also wells up with tears.