but to have lived with this little flycatcher family each spring
for the past five years,
anticipating their return from Central America
like clockwork each April.
Watching their young grow and fledge,
test their wings, find the courage to greet the wide world,
it comes as great sadness to first see that the nest was
a few days ago.
An emptiness filled me.
Where did they go?
They were not old enough to fly for sure.
Before they disappeared, coming home and going out in the morning was an opportunity to say hello,
knowing their parents were working hard to keep them warm and fed.
Bringing a bug in from the sky, the choice protein for growth.
But I also noticed the mother wasn't on the nest in the evening last Friday, and then another day went by, still no mother.
Then Monday following the weekend,
the mother flycatcher was found,
lifeless on the driveway. Its neck broken.
As deft a flier as she was, darting through the window removed from the garage door.
Three other windows still in place
and she must have hit one.
Hundreds of miles she flew to give birth to another family. A family that helps to keep the balance of bugs in our lives in check.
And brings hope and joy to experience the young
take their first flight
out into the world.