Published on May 22nd, 2019 | by Randy Weeks0
The View from the Balcony: Mother’s Day Miracle
About a month ago a robin made her nest in an inside corner of the eve of the portico outside my apartment. I was able to watch as she brought twig after twig and fashioned them into a truly astounding piece of art.
Shortly thereafter she laid four beautiful sky blue, perfectly stunning eggs. She sat on them day and night as she incubated her future hatchlings. I was careful not to disturb her, but I did talk to her every time I left and returned. It was baby talk—the same high-pitched tone we humans seem to automatically slip into when talking to babies and toddlers. I have no idea why we do that. I’ve wondered at times if the children are thinking, “Why in the name of Sam Hill are they talking like that? They sound like the idiots they are!”
Over the two weeks the robin sat on her eggs, I think there were only a couple of times she left her nest when I came close. I thought that Dr. Dolittle would have been impressed. As the days passed the eggs turned from blue to brown, eventually hatching. I monitored their progress closely and, yes, talked to the baby birds every time I walked by. Sometimes I went out just to speak to them. All this was in hopes that after they had left the nest, they might come back from time to time to say “Hello.”
During the gestation period I received a notice from my apartment managers that the entire complex was undergoing renovations and that my building was going to be worked on soon. I called the manager’s office and was told—very courteously—that they could not guarantee that they would be able to skip my building and come back to it, should the birds still be in the nest. They went so far, though, as to contact Animal Control to see if the nest could be safely relocated. When Animal Control said they couldn’t do it the apartment manager found a private group who might be able to help.
I learned, unfortunately, that a mother robin would most likely desert the nest if it were tampered with. My researched indicated that newly hatched robins needed 10–15 days before they could fly away.
My next step was to contact the corporate offices of the apartments. I emailed them, making sure they knew the effort local management had put in trying to help me. Corporate emailed me to let me know my request had been forwarded to “the proper person.” That was the last I heard from them.
I kept up with the progression of buildings under repair and became hopeful. It was taking longer than expected. On Wednesday or Thursday before Mother’s Day I called local management again. They agreed that it was unlikely that maintenance would get to my building before the robins matured. They added that their corporate offices had told them to skip my building and come back to it if the birds had not flown away when they got to it. I was so very thankful. Mother robin continued to sit with her little ones, keeping them safe and warm.
Mother’s Day morning I went out to check on the robins. They were gone—all but one, that is. There was one of the four that didn’t make it. Apparently, it didn’t even make it completely out of its shell. But the other three did. I confess to having shed a few tears—some of gratitude for their safety and for those who helped preserve them, some of grief over the one that had died, and some from simply missing them.
I don’t know if they will come back to the nest to sleep tonight or not. I hope they will visit me from time-to-time, but I know that I may have seen the last of them. But that’s how nature is. I was privileged to be a part of something so simple, yet so profound. So, I’ll add that to my ever-lengthening list of the things that prove to me what a lucky and blessed man I am.
You know, the only thing better than being this lucky and blessed is to know that you are. I know. I know.
…and that’s the view from The Balcony.