Mama Robin decided to build her nest in one of my hanging flower baskets. I put this basket on my deck last week. On Sunday, I watched Mrs. Robin look at the basket with interest. Once she decided that this basket would be a good place to make her nest, she sat on the dirt and wiggled her butt repeatedly to make a perfectly round circle. She got up to check her progress after a bit and seemed happy with her efforts. Then she settled her fluffy little butt on the circle again and wiggled and wiggled and wiggled. When she was done, she had a perfectly round little hole in the basket that she proceeded to fill with nesting material she found in the yard. The whole process was very intriguing. Why did Mama Robin pick this basket over the other four baskets that were hanging on the deck? What was it about this basket that caused her to want to make her nest there in the first place? And, how did she know how to build this nest in such an expert manner? As little and fragile as this robin is, she has a very strong and powerful legacy that has preciously guarded all that makes a robin a robin. Like many generations before her, the drive to survive, breed and bear young is part of her very being. So, choosing an ideal place for her nest and knowing how to make the nest so that it will protect her eggs and then her babies once they’re born, is something that came to her from a long line of mother robins who performed these tasks in exactly the same way for hundreds of years..
Over the years I’ve come to believe that the animals around us could teach us a lot about what it means to work hard to accomplish a task. Mama Robin had a job to do….prepare a nesting spot to lay her eggs and raise her young. She went about it in a very methodical manner…..find a location, do some remodeling , then make it her own. When Mrs. Robin finally lays her eggs in her little nest, she will guard them with her life against predators, weather conditions and curious humans. She will spend several days sitting on her eggs to keep them warm and also to help the little embryos inside to grow into mirror images of herself. She does this because her instincts tell her this is what she’s suppose to do. Once the babies hatch, Mama Robin will make sure her babies have plenty to eat. She will spend her days scrounging for worms and insects to feed them. She will do all she can to protect them against any predator who would like to make her babies into a tasty meal. And when it’s time to leave the nest, Mama Robin will teach her babies how to fly………..and the babies will eventually fly away to repeat the cycle of life that has been set up for them by all the generations that came before. Mama Robin has accomplished her task……..
After watching Mama Robin meticulously build her nest and get ready to give birth to the next generation of robins, I decided that there were things in my own life that might benefit from such an organized and purposeful approach. In other words, instead of procrastinating about tasks I’ve put off for a while ….like people I need to contact, letters I need to write and bills I need to pay…….I would be better off to simply just address these tasks head on and get them done already. It’s really too bad that we humans don’t have an innate drive to get our jobs accomplished on time without complaints or excuses……like Mrs. Robin. As I said, watching Mama Robin these last few days has taught me some valuable lesson…….I’m too old to build a nest…..but not too old to learn some new tricks.