Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Empty Nest Is Better...

... than a full nest with no Grace.

That's what I've been thinking about lately, anyway.

I've been remembering how often, during the last two years Naomi lived with us, I wrote complaining emails to my good online friend in Florida.... emails about how living in our home was like trying to share a nest with a Night Owl when everyone else inside the nest were Day Owls.

...and how the Day Owls tried not to worry so much about the Night Owl who flew to dark, mysterious places, even in snow storms, and didn't fly back to the nest till wee morning hours.

...and how the Night Owl began complaining that she didn't like how the Day Owls cleaned the nest ... how she would clean it better if she had a nest of her own.

... how the Night Owl made choices the Day Owls would never make and yet the Day Owls knew they had to let the Night Owl make those choices so she'd learn how to forge her own way.

... and basically how you'd have thought the whole living arrangement would be getting easier after so many years and practice--yet it increasingly became harder!

More clearly than ever before, I see the problem now.

The first 20 + years, both the Day Owls and the Night Owls lived with Grace inside the nest. God sent Grace to keep everyone in harmony (that is, when both sets of owls relied upon Grace and not their own bright ideas). But then, when the right time came--when the season arrived for the Night Owl to leave the nest-- Grace moved away. In fact, Grace left the nest when the Day Owl should have moved on along with her.

Except that the Night Owl stayed behind, instead. And the Day Owls wrongly thought it was a Good Thing to keep the Night Owl in the nest just awhile longer.

Except that it wasn't.

No, there was everyone trying to get along as before--they tried to make it work-- but they just couldn't. Grace wasn't around to help. There was just everyone's bright ideas left, and well, you know how much trouble those can bring.

But eventually--after the nest became one pretty stressful place-- the Night Owl did fly away. All the owls inside finally had an aha! moment. Everyone saw the writing scribbled all over the wall: Night Owl needed a place of her own. She needed to stretch her wings and make them stronger.

And 18 months later, the Night Owl is at peace in her own new nest.

And the old home nest is one very peaceful place again, especially since Grace brought her suitcases and moved back inside.

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