Sitting on the floor of my daughter’s vacation room, I look through the glass door up at the nest. It is tucked into the balcony rafters. Mama bird has just returned to her babies.
I feel a kinship with mama bird, seeing as I am here this week with my three youngest chickadees. It’s a different vacation dynamic than years gone by.
The last time we were in this space, our unit was divided into a boys’ side and a girls’ side. There were eight of us. Someone got sick.
This year we are four females until Papa bird joins us. Each has her own space. Mine is on a pull-out sofa. Some years that is how it goes. I wanted my older girls to have their own rooms.
It’s kind to have a getaway gifted by the in-laws in the midst of this transitional summer. The change of scenery is doing us good, even if it’s only a different space to eat and sleep and watch Cartoon Network.
For me it’s also doing yoga on my travel mat, reading books, and journaling. It’s laughing with the girls at episodes of Teen Titans and Gumball and crying alone during Inside Out and A Wrinkle in Time.
It’s going for walks in the heat and playing miniature golf on a course where the young man behind the counter taking our money recognizes us from years ago when he was younger and his family came to our house for dinner that time.
We are not far.
Just like that mama bird who swoops down and away whenever I try to sneak out onto the balcony for a closer look, I swoop out and away to my own balcony to read or write. I swoop out for walks.
I always return, just like her.
Unlike her, my babies are old enough to swoop out on their own, as well. Little Mae took her own walk last evening. My teenage daughter steps out regularly for moments of self-care.
Teen sons are each off on their own adventure this month, instead of on vacation with the family. That is how seasons shift and change.
Maybe that is what continues to draw me to the floor of this room looking out of the window and up at a bird nest. Grounding. Remembering all of my birds when they were contained.
I always ask first.
May I go look at the bird?
Usually the answer is affirmative, unless I have been particularly annoying or grievous. Then I just wait a bit and ask again.
Mama has hopped out of the nest and is perched on the ledge. Her eyes peer around, scoping out the territory. I refrain from opening the door or making a sudden movement.
Instead I sit and bless her. I listen to her song through the window and marvel at her role in the world. She is enough just being a bird.
She does not have to compete with or compare herself to other birds. She is enough moving back and forth from her own nest minding her own business.
Enough. Just like these words.
Just like me.