The other day, my son Matthew woke up not feeling well, and complained that his throat was hoarse and swollen. As I glanced at his nearby iPad, I wondered briefly if he was just overtired, and felt the tug of guilt. Was he not getting enough rest because I was letting him use his electronics too much? Was he up late on his iPad? Did he just not feel like going to school today?
But sometimes I need to just believe him. So, I did, And, in fact, when he woke up later, I could tell he was genuinely quite sick. However, by mid-afternoon, he was feeling better, and happened to be standing in my office with me when we noticed the bluebirds flying around the nest box.
“Mom!’ he said. “We have to set up the camera in the nest box!” Forgetting he was not well, he wanted to go out immediately and hook up the wires. I know from experience that if my kids want to do something with me, especially in the garden, I better hop to it pronto! So I said, “Yes.”
We looked around for the power cord after setting everything up, but it could not be found. Impatient to know what to do, Matthew called the bird place himself, and found out that I could pick up a power cord the next day. “Mom, you gotta make sure you go tomorrow!” he stressed. “It’s free, too!” he assured me.
But the next day he was still sick, so he asked if we could go together to get the cord. He took the lead, going into the store first and talking to the guy. By the time I followed, he had already gotten what we needed. “He’s a very mature young man,” said the store owner, smiling at me.
Of course, we fixed up the power cord at home, fussed with the focus, and finally, voila! There was the mama bluebird! She had already started building, and we could watch as she brought bits and pieces of pine straw, leaves, grass and moss inside the box to fill the nest, using her body to press and “schootch” them into place.
I’ve been sitting out on the front bench most mornings since, feeding the bluebirds and watching them go in and out of the nest box. I’ve taken photos and had little conversations with them, to make sure they are comfortable with me sitting out there. The show has been terrific. The other day, the male bird “saluted” me! And I’ve had fun posting photos on instagram.
As we’ve watched on the monitor for these past few days, the nest has gotten much thicker and much softer. No light shines through the bottom anymore, and the surface looks soft and fine, not just pine straw as it was before.
And last night, on the Spring Equinox, I saw something else. “Quick,” I called out to Matthew and Camille. “Come see!” They both came running. I’d seen something new in the nest box: two sky-blue eggs.
So. Spring has sprung. The potential of the world is captured in two eggs, a snug nest, and a full heart. Happiness is available to us, despite the sadness in the world. Here. In the garden.