It’s almost time for my sparrows (and that one cowbird) to fledge. I love the verb “fledge.” It means to leave the nest. Any day now!
It’s both an exciting and terrifying moment. Think of the vulnerability. Think of the danger. The baby birds will hop around a bit, test out their wings, and hop around some more. They aren’t quite ready to fly (they will eventually), so mostly, they hobble about, flapping their wings, oblivious. In that precarious meantime, I know what I have to do: protect the fledglings!
I keep my garden cat, Louie, inside. I stay far away from the nest to not cause any distress. I cheer on the baby birds from the kitchen window. Some will fly within a few minutes; some will take the whole day to figure it out. I pray no animal catches them.
Protecting the fledglings means I secure the garden. I keep predators away. I watch carefully. I love thinking of my own moments of fledging when I leave places of safety and familiarity to try my wings for the first time. I think of God securing a perimeter around me, cheering me on. I also think of becoming that protective and encouraging presence for anyone in my life just starting out in some new direction. Protect the fledglings!