Cheryl's Blog

A story of hope and new beginnings

Spring has arrived here in the northeast and the birds are bustling as they start work on their new summer homes. Organic cotton globes have been hung to assist them in finding good quality construction materials and extra food has been added to the feeders to fuel their labor.

This time of year always reminds me of a story I shared long ago of what happened when we installed a variety of trees in our yard. I return to this tale because it reminds me to be very careful about the stories I tell myself and the expectations I carry. Life can surprise you at any moment and if you’re going to make up stories in your head, you might as well make them love stories with happy endings.

Here’s what happened…

Several years ago, Michael and I had thirty trees planted in our yard and no sooner were the trees in the ground, when birds began to build new homes. I was excited to find a robin’s nest in the pine tree behind the garage, an oriole’s nest in the Norway spruce at the bend in the driveway, and a tiny wren’s nest in the juniper tree by our front door. It was wonderful to have an up-close-and-personal view of life. Every day, as I left or entered the house, I would carefully peek into the wren’s nest to see how things were progressing.

Over time, homes were built, eggs were laid, and new life was on the way.

Much to my dismay, however, one afternoon when returning home from a meeting, I looked in at the wren’s nest and found it empty. I saw a tiny baby lying on the ground with two eggs at its side – one cracked, one not. Heartbroken, I gently moved a branch aside only to find another baby bird, alive and hanging by a leg from the nest.

I stood by the tree on the verge of tears, worried about what to do. I’d always heard that you should never touch a bird or its nest for fear that the mother would abandon her babies (I’ve since learned this is not true). But, knowing that I couldn’t leave the scene like that, I rushed into the house, found a pair of gloves, and went back to at least give the baby birds a respectable end to their lives.

I oh-so-gently unhooked the baby hanging from the nest and placed it inside. Then I picked up the unbroken egg and set it next to the baby. When I reached down to pick the other tiny bird up off the ground, I discovered that it, too, was alive. So, I carefully placed it into the nest next to its sibling. I assumed the birds would die together.

The next morning, I braced myself as I left to run errands. I prayed that the mother would come back, but I assumed the babies would have died overnight alone in the nest. Sure enough, when I looked inside, there was no mom to be found, however, I could see tiny heartbeats in the babies that remained.

When I returned home, I was shocked to find the mother wren sitting on top of her babies! I stared into her tiny eyes and thanked her for coming back. Then I ran into the house to share the good news with Michael.

Over time, as the mother came and went, I kept my fingers crossed. This morning, I was a bit nervous to check in on them again but I’m happy to report that there are three babies in the nest! Yes, even the little egg hatched. The baby’s mouths are open and they look nearly ready to open their eyes to the world.

Finding these beautiful little beings alive fills me with the hope that even out of the direst circumstances, good can come.

I hope it gives you a lift today, too!


P.S. – My new audiobook/workshop called Self Care for the Wisdom Years is now available through Audible. You can learn more here.