Topic of the Week
This weekend I’m in Washington, DC, for the I Can Do It conference and I thought I’d share one of my favorite stories with you. It’s from a newsletter originally written in 2009. Have hope!
A month ago, Michael and I had thirty trees planted in our yard. As soon as they were in the ground, birds began to build nests. I was so excited to find a robin’s nest in the pine tree behind the barn, an oriole’s nest in the Norway spruce at the bend in the driveway, and a tiny wren’s nest in the juniper tree by our front door. Every day, as I left or entered the house, I would carefully peek into the wren’s nest to see how things were progressing. I couldn’t wait to hear the chirping of new babies once the eggs were hatched.
Much to my dismay, however, one afternoon when returning home from a meeting, I found a tiny baby lying on the ground with two eggs at its side – one broken, one not. Shocked, I gently moved a branch aside only to find another baby bird, alive, and hanging by its leg from the nest.
I stood by the tree on the verge of tears, so disappointed and concerned about what to do. I’d always heard that you should never touch a bird or its nest for fear that the mother would abandon her babies (I’ve since learned this is not true). But, knowing that I couldn’t just leave the scene like that, I rushed into the house, found a pair of latex gloves, and went back to at least give the baby birds a respectable end to their lives.
I oh-so-gently unhooked the baby from the nest and placed it inside. Then I picked up the unbroken egg and set it next to the baby. When I reached down to pick the other baby up off the ground to bury it, I discovered that it, too, was alive. So I carefully placed it into the nest next to its sibling. Then, I went into the house to tell Michael what happened. I assumed that the birds would at least die together huddled in their nest.
The next morning I braced myself as I left for a meeting. I prayed that the mother would come back, but I assumed the babies would have died overnight alone in the nest. Sure enough, when I looked inside, there was no mom to be found, however, I could see tiny heartbeats. Feeling frustrated and so sad, I left for the day.
When I returned home, much to my astonishment, I found the mother wren sitting on top of her babies! I stood there, mouth open, stunned by the sight. I stared into the little mother’s eyes, feeling such joy. I thanked her for coming back and ran into the house to share the good news with Michael.
This morning, I was a bit nervous to check in on them to see what may have happened while I was gone. But, I’m happy to report that there are three babies in the nest! Yes, even the little egg hatched. The babies look like they’re almost ready to open their eyes to the world.
Finding these beautiful, little beings alive and well makes me so happy and fills me with hope that even out of the most dire circumstances, good can come. I hope it gives you a lift, too!