They are getting ready, these tiny bodies of winged possibility that have only known the nest their mother built since first she laid them in its safety and sat for days and days on end upon their shells until they were born.
I have watched them over the past three weeks grow from tiny, featherless newborns into feathered beauty with wings unfolding with every breath they take.
I have watched the mother and father robin carefully tending to their young. Bringing food. Sustenance. Warmth.
The father doesn’t linger long. But he is never far away.
Over these first weeks of life, the mother has moved from sitting in the nest for hours on end, to sitting on its edge for brief spurts of time, trusting in nature to take its course and give her babies the gift of flight.
Her babies are growing stronger. Soon it will be time.
And I sit and watch and marvel at the power of nature. To create life. Sustain life. Set it free.
And I think of the mothers whose children were taken from them so young. Who never had the chance to nurture and sustain their offspring. Who never had the gift of seeing them take flight.
And I think of how, in their pain, they wandered through their days searching for their missing children until they could no longer stand the pain.
And how, like a bird with a broken wing, they had to tend to their own wounds. Heal, as best they could, the gaping holes that could never be filled. How, they yearned again for those days when their children ran and played and sang songs and told stories and gathered around the table and shared a meal and bickered amongst themselves knowing, that no matter what, their lives were woven together with strands of love threaded through a way of life that could never be erased.
Until it was.
Until a force greater than their mother’s arms could hold back and their father’s breath could push away, swept in and tore the ties that bind apart, ripping out the hearts of the weavers who had built the nest they called their home.
And how, over generations and generations of unravelling the ties that bind, there was nothing left of the threads of all their ancestors weaving the vibrant stories that had sustained them, nurtured them, carried them through their lives. Nothing left of the songs that sang them awake and the stories that lulled them to sleep. Nothing left of the way of life threaded through their history, for their history was gone. Rewritten. Erased. Assimilated.
Until one day, there was a murmuring. It wasn’t loud, but it was steady. Like a heartbeat. And in its steady thrum, thrum, it whispered a song of hope, rising up, Up across the land calling their ancestors and all their relations to rise with it.
And in its beat, a memory flickered through the darkness, and then another and another. Memories full of the way it was when the rivers ran deep teeming with fish and the buffalo roamed the prairies as far as the eye could see. Memories of the forest paths beckoning with healing ferns and moss and flora. Memories of when the drums beat loud and the fires burned bright. Memories of the stories the elders told that guided the young in the ways of their people as their mothers wove baskets in the light of the fire and their fathers hunted for the foods that would sustain them. Memories of their ancient ways. Ways that nurtured and sustained and honoured all of life.
It began as just a murmuring, a gentle breath of hope. It is growing. Louder.
And their wings are growing. Stronger.
And the way is growing. Clearer.
And their hearts are beating. Faster.
And the drums are pounding. Fiercer.
Soon. Soon. It will be time.
Time to erase the erasing of their ways that could never be erased because theirs are the way of nature and nature can never be erased. It flows always. In the rivers. In the seas. In the air we breathe. In the light of the sun and the cast of the moon. It flows deep within the earth that has always nurtured and sustained life on this planet we call our home. This planet that is growing weary of our ways that is killing off its creatures, poisoning its waters, clogging up its air.
This earth is calling them to awaken to their ways.
It is time. Time for the stories to be told. For the light to return. Time for the threads of yesterday to be woven back into the tapestry of life that was their way. And is their way.
It is their ways that will sustain and nurture us.
It is their ways that will heal the wounds.
It is their ways that will heal the truth.
It is their ways that will heal the earth and all of nature.
If is time for us to step aside and let their ways lead us all back into nature’s balance.