Nest
In early April I discovered a momma robin had made her nest in the pergola over my deck.  She had tucked her baby’s home in the corner by my sparkly lights.  I checked on her every day.  She chattered at me from the nearby tree if I came out when she was not perched on her egg – warning me to go away.  Her nest was beautiful and intricate with all of the tree branches woven tight and spare grasses forming a soft cradle.  I could not see the egg inside because it was too high up and, the truth is, I felt it was her sacred space so I respected that. 

When the April tornado warnings came in, I stressed over how I could secure a board over the pergola to protect her.  She and her egg were safe through the storm.  Two days later I came home.  The empty nest had fallen to the deck floor.  I instantly burst into tears.

I cried for all of the hard work she had put into her nest and all of the hard work she endured to keep her baby safe and protected.  And I cried for it all being broken.  I cried for it being beyond her control.  I cried because this is how it feels being a divorced parent.  We work so hard building up our nests for our children, making sure our children are protected in every way and then one day a divorce happens and you look around and it all feels broken and it feels like you have failed in protecting your children.

Then it occurred to me that I did not judge this momma robin.  I held nothing but compassion in my heart for her and her circumstance.  I knew she would mourn the loss of her broken dreams but that her instinct would be to move forward – to fly again, even nest again.  I knew instinctively that I should pay heed to the lesson of survival.  That I should stop judging myself for being a failure as a mother and appreciate the very fact that I have two healthy, beautiful, alive little girls.  That I should pay more attention to my instincts and less attention to my judgments.  When I made this slight shift, my spirit perked up, and although I am not quite to soaring, I am at least open now to taking flight.

Angela Dunne

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