As I mowed, every time I passed near the edge of the garage, I'd see a robin take off and fly across the lawn. But where was her nest? I began to watch and saw that she was launching from above the bend in the downspout; she had built her nest atop it, a nice stable spot and beneath the overhang of the roof, a snug and safe place.
Last evening, after I had taken my shower, I remembered her flying near me and went back outside, now pajama-clad, and found the step ladder in the garage. Of course as I approached the spot she flew away with a squawk.
Inside the nest are four lovely blue eggs, carefully dropped atop a bed of mud and grasses, as heavy a nest as we have for our songbirds. I will watch for the eggs to hatch and follow the young brood.
And so as I help my elderly parents in their final days, I watch a new generation of birds about to be born. How life does hold on, increasing and spreading each spring ... nature's own assault on death. The Earth lives again with every May and I know as one generation reaches its end, another scratches at its beginning. The cycle of life continues. I take part as observer of both ends at the same time, saddened by the one, bolstered and made to smile by the other.
It is a great consolation for me to see this, to know that life itself continues without intervention or assistance from humankind. These four blue eggs hold the very sky in their shell; the next generation begins to take flight before my eyes.
What, in spring, is more wondrous than this?