The Robin

A robin tried to make a nest in the light fixture on our back porch.

I realized it one day as I was working at the dining room table, and I heard a scratching sound at the wall. I went over to investigate, and as I stuck my face up against the glass of our back door, a robin flew away. I poked my head out and saw the mess of straw and bits of this and that packed in between the metal fixture and our siding - not quite a nest yet but clearly the result of hours of flying back and forth and tucking it all into place.

That evening I told my wife about it, and she said that we had to get the nest down.

Why? I asked, suddenly dismayed. Wouldn't we love to have little baby robins outside our door?

The weather was warming up, she reminded me. And once we started using the deck and going in and out of the door, the robin wouldn't want to be there. She would be afraid and might leave her eggs.

We got on the computer just to be sure, and there were countless posts about people dealing with the same issue. If we let the robin finish building her nest and lay her eggs there, there was a good chance she would get disturbed or scared by our constant in and out and likely end up abandoning her eggs.

So the next afternoon, I reached up and began pulling down each piece of straw from the light fixture. I could feel her looking at me, her beak hanging open, her eyes filled with pained horror. I stopped and looked around.

How could you do this? she was asking me. How could you rip apart this home that I've been so carefully building? Why? Why? Why?

I'm so sorry, I said out loud. I looked around into the trees.

I'm so sorry, I said to the sky.

I know you put so much into building this little home for them. I know you don't understand, but you'll find another place. You will find another place. I promise.

I leaned against the wall of our house and closed my eyes and held the mass of prickly straw and grass in my hands.

I promise. 

There's a message for me in there, I think.

I'm trying to listen.

p.s. Two years ago, talking about girls and bullying.

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