Saturday, January 30, 2010


The large, blue heron flew over us as Dad and I walked through the woods. The bird’s destination was the enormous nest high up in the trees. It stood on the side of the nest, stepping in and settling.

Dad and I walked into through the woods at the back of the farm as we had many times when I was small. This time his daughter was looking to nest as well, carrying her unborn daughter. A snake skittered across the path. I screamed and jumped. Dad worried. I wondered what it meant to Dad seeing the last of his daughters with child. He was protective and probably a bit worried.

Mother had a hard time having this child who was determined to meet the world on her feet. Doctors back then were not as skilled at handling a breech birth. Perhaps it was a sign of a child who would always defy tradition. With sacrifice to my mother’s health, a child was born, and a father learned to worry.

From an early age I’d learned observe birds and their nests. The oriole nesting in tall plants in the field, the robin coming back to the same summer home, barn owls seeking refuge in the barn. I knew about nesting.
Sometimes I look at the eagles nests along the river and am once more taken back to the woods. An egret or heron stands next to a pool, and I pull my grandchildren along to glimpse the avian beauty. Nesting.

Perhaps I still nest, holding my grandchildren safe among the sticks and grasses of nature. Teaching them the things I learned walking the woods on Neff Road. Perhaps my nest is now full of memories and lessons. Once a small nest, now one that holds many.

A blue heron flew over us.

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