Freedom to watch extraordinary architecture | News, Sports, Jobs

The extraordinary nest architecture employed by an ordinary robin got my attention and appreciation here in the newsroom in recent weeks.

And that’s because of the location of it, in an almost eye-level windowsill view here at the newspaper.

Seldom are the occasions when a person gets an up-close look at how that plays out minus any blueprints or DIY kit instructions.

The robin just knows what to do and how to do it and exercises its natural freedom and ability to carry out what it’s wired to do.

This robin created a nest out of what it found and needed to make a temporary home, using dead grass and twigs and such to form a kind of bowl made firm with mud for mortar.

It really was quite amazing to see this construction go from start to finish — to stand back and say “job well done!” to this robin for a fascinating end product, much like a spider web that an arachnid seems to effortlessly weave with such intricacy and detail.

Before long the nest had four eggs that hatched and made the mother robin busy bringing food, all of this progress unfolding before me and a few co-workers monitoring the progress that included worms for brunch, lunch and dinner.

We watched in awe how they morphed from nothing to something in the blink or two of an eye as if we were proud extended family members entitled to beam and boast.

Before too long, though, these fledgings were investigating life beyond the nest, hopping outside it, looking around, surveying the big world out there, curious about what was ahead.

One seemed a bit reluctant to leave the nest, hesitant to bid farewell to the security of the nest and then the windowsill itself that it had so far as enjoyed a stay-at-home holdout to siblings that demonstrated fearlessness and gave their wings a try much sooner.

Ultimately, they all flew the coop, leaving an empty nest ready for some other time, for some other family.

So much for our welcomed newsroom distraction.

Those birds having freedom to take flight somehow made me think about Memorial Day, how I have freedom to spread my wings and do as I please, despite the risks that we have in this world of danger and consequences to decisions.

It’s surely not a perfect country, but I’m grateful for those who sacrificed on our behalf for the country I call mine.

I was updating Better Half about these birds when we were at the cemetery the other evening, planting flowers at the front of the headstone where mom and dad, a World War II veteran, are buried.

Like many people, this is our tradition as Memorial Day approaches, to tend to the gravesites of loved ones and plant flowers.

After dad had died, my mother and I embraced a tradition of always planting red geraniums on dad’s grave in time for Memorial Day. Sometimes we added a white geranium here and there for accent.

Better Half and I continued the geranium tradition after mom died.

The other evening I brought something different to plant, not inspired so much by geraniums as I was by disco marigolds and red gerbera.

As we planted them, I actually apologized to my mother for the flower deviation.

Dad, we agreed, just would have been content that someone was tending to the weeds.

That we have such freedoms — big and small (bird watching and flower planting) I am so very grateful to have.

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