Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Nests Filled a Different Way


Berrymom asked me to share how I got prepared for the Empty Nest...

Oh my. Do you have a few hours?

No, really... it's one wild, book-length story, really... All I can do is throw-out some words, rather like a poem,
rather like spreading bird seed (since we're speaking of nests)...
So just pick-up what might help you and leave the rest on the ground...
And remember--letting go of anything is always made easier when you grab onto whatever God gives you in its place. And He does always give something in place of what we lose--but sometimes our worry, complaining and sadly staring backward clouds our eyes and blinds us, sometimes for years and years.

***

During the little birds' high school years, you let them fly
Farther away and for longer periods of time...
Another year, another few miles and hours...
You let them get their feet wet in the Responsibility Pond.

And meanwhile, back at the nest...
You fight Worry,
Do battle with it,
As though it was something which can take you,
Crashing, down...because, yes, it can...
And when God says He watches your little bird while you can't,
You make yourself remember that... and hold onto it.
You replace Dread with Anticipation of all things becoming new after the Empty Nest... because, yes, they do.

You cling less to your children and your Mom-Through-And-Through identity,
And more to God and your husband and friends.

And you do a little flying, yourself, on short, pre-adventures of your own...
You realize a journey can be near or far and even books and computers and backyard gardens hold adventures.
And during these flights you find new identities and creativity,
Soon you're flying around to places you never knew existed,

But yet, returning home and to that Mother's Heart late afternoons--
Handing out worms and hugs and advice all around.
And then the next day--
You're the new Great Explorer, again
and then The Mom again by night...
The Adventurer and Learner and Peeker Around the Corner again--
And then the Mom again at Home...

And you keep on like that--
Adventuring and learning and developing your own wings--
But always returning Home
Until one day--Poof!

You fly back inside your own front door
And pausing, looking around-
You discover your nest is empty--
But empty only of children--
For now it's full of everything you carried home from your mini-adventure years.

And, extra-nice, the Father of your little birds is sitting there,
(Hair still mussed from adventures you took together),
Though now he is a Husband (and that's more fun for you)...
And God, Himself--
Well, you've spent so much time with Him
Learning how to fly,
That now you'd recognize Him anywhere
(And that's where you see Him sitting or standing now--anywhere.)

Empty nest? Hardly.
Still full, just differently.

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