Empty Nest (5)

I climb the black metal table for the second time. The first time, weeks ago, I peered over the edge of the nest at two tiny perfect hummingbird eggs nestled side by side. Today, I see a black gangly shape lolling against the inside of the nest, beak to the sky. I am afraid he is dying. The wild bird rescue woman is so reassuring on the phone I almost cry. I see mama hummingbird zoom in and out. I blink twice and the two younglings are jostling each other beside the nest. Then they are gone, though this morning I think I spy one at the feeder. How does that work? Do they need to fan out very far from home? Are there rules about this? But oh. For one more day I catch glimpses of them perched in the guayaba tree, nowhere near the nest. Now I still check. I talk to the empty guayaba just in case they are nearby. (They are hard to spot.) The empty nest makes me ache even as I am so glad they made it. How many times did I worry? Now that they are gone, my fingers itch to dismantle the nest. I want to feel the way it resists or the way it tears or gives way against me. I want to smell it and to know if it is as soft as it looks or strangely rough because it is so strong. Of course I don’t do it. What if they can use it again? And how could I destroy the nest, so beautiful and alluring, poop and all?

It would be sacrilege, I think, to harm the nest. I remember the dream I have where hummingbirds are coming in through the windows and making nests inside my home. I worry about them being trapped inside during the night. But the nests they begin to build against the white walls or nearer the ceiling are more like hives than hummingbird nests, mud-wasp-like, a little creepy except the birds themselves are flitting about dispelling all possibility of anything sinister, so these are just an oddity, it seems. One set of my louvered windows in real life don’t have a screen, and sometimes a hummingbird does fly into the living room with me. They are usually quick and curious, and I’m thankful they tend to leave quickly, too, before I have time to worry for their sake. Since my dream, though, when they come and they poke their curious beaks toward the southwest corner of the ceiling, or they investigate the crevice beside the facing window, sometimes I wonder what it would be like if they did live here. The imagined mess makes me cringe. I would truly abandon any meager tie to civilized living. But think of the potential joy, too, all those incandescent little ones buzzing in and out or asleep nearby in the night.  What if the approaching dusk meant I needed to be sure they were all accounted for, so I could close the window before full dark, so I could help to keep them safe here through the night?

2 thoughts on “Empty Nest (5)

  1. Riba,
    We experienced hummingbird mama this time last year at Anahata. She built her nest in the oddest location attaching it to a strap that was dangling in the middle of the cabana just outside the spa hays. Weven robed off the cabana she was very busy in and out of the nest and finally laid two perfect tiny eggs it was so incredible to watch her. As the gestation period continued she spent longer stretches of time on her eggs and miraculously they finally hatched. She would then go off to feed and bring back, what we assumed, nectar and feed them. Then at night she sat in the nest. They babies grew and pooped a lot and one day I was walking by and noticed one of them had either fallen or was kicked out to it’s death on the concrete that was sad but the other eventually left the nest again we assumed on its own. It was such a special blessing and gift for us to be a part of.
    Thank you for your story. Much Aloha! Leisa🌺

  2. Oh, how fun you came to visit and saw this one of all of them, Leisa!

    I was there when that protective perimeter was up for your little ones! I think it was my last visit, one of the times when you weren’t there.

    It is such a sweet thing to be a part of, isn’t it??!!? So sorry about the one little one’s death.

    Thank you, Leisa! :)

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