May 02 2010

Watching For Miracles

Published by at 3:02 am under An Ongoing Conversation . . .

For several years Oak Titmice have made a nest in one of our birdhouses hanging high over CiCi’s Garden. Shortly thereafter the air fills with periodic loud peeping as mama and papa make seemingly endless trips to feed their young. One day all too soon it grows quite for the babies have flown. I always feel a little bereft at not having seen their departure.

This year, during the last week of March we saw two Titmice together on a branch above the birdhouse, both their wings fluttering wildly. Perhaps it was the same pair we’d seen each year since Titmice mate for life once they have chosen their partner. Having observed nest-making activity in the birdhouse beforehand, we were delighted to witness their courtship –a first for us.

A few days later the female evidently began her egg laying interspersed with more wing quivering by the pair. Once accomplished, for two weeks her mate faithfully brought her breakfast (lunch and dinner) in bed. Then the delightful peeping commenced, growing louder and more demanding as the parents carried out their flying missions.

On April 30, my oldest granddaughter’s birthday, home for lunch I was seated outside in the Garden when I heard a parent Titmouse nearby, calling loudly. Soon it perched on a limb above the birdhouse, a fat bug in its beak. Usually, after carefully checking the premises (CiCi enjoys joining us outside) he or she flies directly through the opening, causing riotous chirping amongst the brood. This time it just remained there while its mate called loudly from another branch further away.

Unexpectedly, I saw the head of a small replica of its parents appear in the doorway of the birdhouse. Calling my husband I held my breath, hoping but not daring to hope that the baby would take flight. As it emerged, then disappeared and emerged several more times, I was suddenly fearful it might falter. After all, it had never used its wings before. Not-to-worry, out it sailed up to a branch a few feet away followed in succession by six siblings. (We always wondered how many babies it took to make such a racket.) At last! We had witnessed the emptying of the nest!

Not feeling the least bit bereft, I rejoiced in this miracle of nature. Life does work sometimes like we hope it will –probably more often than we realize. With the constant pounding of bad news broadcast 24/7 it’s no wonder people become jaded with fear, anger and despondency seeming to grip us more each day. Though I don’t pretend that this will cure the ills of the world in which we live, my suggestion is simple:

Watch for miracles and you will see them.

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