The Empty Nest

I have a tenant in my backyard. A sparrow, a female sparrow that thought my backyard could be a good place to call “home” and dedicated weeks to build a nest above the spotlight. At the beginning she was fearful of my presence, flying away as soon as I opened the door, but as days passed by, we acquainted.

I followed the idyllic journey of life since laying the eggs, to the endless days of incubation until the hatching of the newborns, cute plucked little birds that filled my backyard with a melodious cacophony of sings exteriorizing their eagerness for living.

One day I came back home after work and the backyard was dead quiet. Curious, I peeked into the nest and found it empty. They finally flew away from the nest, I thought, and when I was about to get inside happy with the news, I looked down and found a little sparrow lying dead, eyes closed, with his small wings that failed him extended over the hard concrete floor and his peak open through which escaped his last breath of life.

So young to be dead, his life extinguished on the first flight,  I said caressing his tinny head with my thumb, feeling pity for him.  I wondered where and how would be his mother, Was she sad? His siblings? I didn’t know, but the feeling robed the smile of my face.

Months later I received a visit on my yard. The Mother sparrow had returned to the nest and I witnessed her, diligently, going through the process of conceive life just like the first time, like if nothing had happened. Weeks passed and soon the nest was repopulated with a flock of newborns, wild and playful as the previous.

Once again it came the faithful day of the “first” flight—and I quote first because for birds there are no second chances, it’s either life or dead. I felt overwhelmed only by thinking about us as humans facing such challenge, but for them, there is no other way, it’s their nature. I guessed it’s the price they pay lo live closer to heaven.

That afternoon I arrived home and the backyard was silent again, I knew it was the day. I opened the door with my eyes fixed on the floor wishing this time the floor was clean………. Unfortunately, it was not. A baby sparrow was on the floor, lying just like his brother, and the nest was empty. Again.

This fact spun around my head for days, puzzling me with regards to the fragility of life, questioning how can we state that life is beautiful when you look at the cold face of dead?

Then I placed myself in the dilemma of the bird and asked myself that if I would be able to leave behind the nest and risk everything for one and only one chance to plow the skies and live closer to heaven?

My answer was Yes.

I would say Yes a hundred times even if I had died in my first flight in my 99 lives before.

My problem was that I confused victim with hero.

With those two little sparrows, I didn’t bury two victims of life, I buried two fearless heroes that confronted it. And heroes deserve no pity but honors.

Nothing less than honors.

Two days ago the mother sparrow returned to the nest to bring heroes to this world… 🙂

M. Ch. Landa

PS. Dedicated to all those champions of life. I salute you and honor you!

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