Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lessons from the Robins' Nest

I saw the nest long before I saw the robin. At first, I couldn't believe a bird had actually built such a tidy abode within easy line of my vision when I'm sitting in my favorite reading chair. That had never happened before.
"Come here, Reuben," I said when my ten-y.o. grandson came to spend a few days. "Look! A nest!" He was as excited as I, because we're a family of Creation lovers.
"What kind is it, Gran'ma?"
"I'm not sure. I'm hoping for robins."
Finally, I opened my patio drapes one day and beheld a beautiful robin nestled down in the nest. She was still skittish, so my opening the curtain frightened her away temporarily. She's used to me now, so I can go out quietly and trim weeds with my clippers, and she'll usually stay put.
I thought she was the only one tending the nest at first, but now I notice that the male and female take turns. It's challenging to tell them apart, since they both dress pretty much the same. His head is a bit darker, his eye crescents, a bit more pronounced. Her underbelly has more white on it, too, I think, but that part is down in the nest when she's on duty.
I don't think the eggs have hatched, yet. Wouldn't I hear a cacophony of chirps if they had? Wouldn't I see wee heads with wide-open maws pleading for food? I'll keep watching.
The robins' tenacity amazes me. It has rained for days, sometimes even stormed. Yet, one robin parent or the other faithfully sits on that nest. It's sheltered on two sides, but there's no roof, so the rain drenches whichever parent is on duty. He or she looks waterlogged!
Mr. and Mrs. Robin Redbreast understand some very important truths about parenting, truths instilled by their Creator:
  • Robin young need two parents working together to fulfill their God-given role and help ensure that the young survive to fledge.
  • The next generation is worth the effort, sacrifice, and sometimes inconvenience required to mature it.
  • Though being a parent can be daunting, the Creator equips each kind of creature with the proper skill set to fulfill his/her role.
  • Patience is a virtue. Anything worth having is worth waiting for.
  • Creator provides the raw materials. Robin builds the nest. Creator provides the worm. Robin wrests it from the ground.
Humankind would do well to learn these lessons from the robins' nest.


As I hit "Post" on this entry, the Robin family began to sing in joyful chorus. I silently crept to the window to look out and--HUZZAH!--the robin parents were up on the fence running through their trills to celebrate their hatchlings! Sure enough, sticking up above the edge of the nest was a ravenous little robin head! I wonder how many there are in there.