A Momma Bird’s Journey to Motherhood

by | Jun 5, 2024 | All, Blog, empty nest, Kids!, Life Lessons, Stories | 0 comments

Late spring revitalizes our world with beauty after a long, dark winter. We eagerly await the signs of new life; eventually, they emerge. Last year, a mother mourning dove made her home in my hanging basket. Although she laid eggs, she lost them before any babies hatched. This year, she returned and, for weeks, kept a vigil, patiently sitting in that hanging basket. I, too, kept a vigil.

An Act of Solidarity

My mindset shifted from worrying about my hanging plant dying from lack of water to keeping an eye on her progress. I took pictures, watched her through my Ring doorbell, and silently cheered her on. “Motherhood is hard for all of us,” I told her. “It takes patience, hope, and a little luck.”

Truth be told, I felt an act of solidarity with this little bird. This was the time of year I was pregnant with Amelia, and as a first-time mother, I was anxious. Human mothers ‘nest’ in the last trimester, consciously or subconsciously.  We prepare our home, car, and baby’s room for the soon-to-be resident who will come into our lives with a splash.

As the flowers dried up and died, I could see her handiwork and the very tip of an egg…or two. I never saw her leave the nest; perhaps she did it under cover of night when predators were asleep, just like a mom.

Signs of Life

Soon, I saw signs of new life. The mom sat a little differently in the nest, making room for her new arrivals. Yes! Two little birds, one darker and one lighter. I could barely see them. She sat for what seemed like weeks, then one day, I saw her feeding them. Two little heads close to her, looking up and accepting her food. This continued as the birds grew.

Early in the morning, the dad appeared and cuddled beside her, surrounding the baby birds.  They sat shoulder to shoulder in silence as the breeze rocked that hanging plant side to side, serenaded by the wind chimes.  I felt funny spying on them; it seemed so perfect. He stayed for a while and soon flew off wherever dad birds go.

I know what you are thinking. Jeez, Karen, that’s a little too much. Well, it did remind me of when Chip and I had kids. We wait for them to sleep after we feed them and cuddle in the big chair together, enjoying a quiet couple’s time, which is so rare when newborns join the family.

Ready to Fly

As time passed, the birds became stronger and grew very fast. One Saturday morning, I looked to see them spreading their wings and flapping them about.  She watched them do these two or three times before sleep once again took over, and the nest fell silent.

I took a look last Sunday morning, around 7 a.m., and they were active. She had fed them, and the wings were again open and moving. I knew it would be soon. Later that morning, I came out on the porch with a cup of coffee, and they were gone. Here I sat with an empty nest, and the irony was not lost on me. I was sad.

My heart aligned with that momma bird and all the work it took to raise them and have them take flight. Later that afternoon, I saw her with the daddy bird on the pitch of my room, where they had long stood, two birds cooing away.

But Life is Not Always Perfect.

Later that afternoon, I came out to water the plants. I did not have the heart to remove the empty hanging pot in case she needed to return. As I stepped off the porch, I saw one of the little bird’s bodies dead in the driveway.  It appeared to be picked over by the nasty crows or some other creature.  I just cried.

Before you go all ‘circle of life’ on me, I get it, and that is nature. But for me, it was more than that. I picked up that little bird’s body, gently wrapped it in tissue, and disposed of it. I sat on my porch in silence.

The fragility of life makes you think, or at least it should. We must understand that life is a gift, a roll of the dice in the best circumstances.  Do not take life for granted. Please.

My hope is that next year, she will have the good fortune of making her home in my hanging basket while I watch for life to begin again.

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About Me

KarenHello and welcome.
I am often asked, “What is Pasta on the Floor?”
Pasta on the Floor is different for everyone. It is a recipe that tells a story and inspires them to try something new. For others, stories of family, joy, loss, and hope engage with them. This brings me a great deal of happiness. I do not take myself too seriously, so be forewarned the subject matter is open and truthful. In many ways, Pasta is a tale of life, and I think you will find familiarity and commonality as you scroll through these pages.

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