The Buckman bridge spans the St. John's river at a turn over three miles wide. By some amazing and rare coincidence, I drove over it by myself this evening. Toward the latter half of the bridge, I noticed a series of birds' nests built on the scaffolding that suspends the exit signs over the heads of commuters. At first, it seemed a strange place for a bird to build a nest. After all, aren't birds supposed to be wild and shy, hardly the type to set up their living rooms directly over an eight-lane freeway?
My next thought was of the possibility that the birds who built those nests may have actually laid eggs in them. And if those eggs hatched and the baby birds survived the harsh winds and temperature fluctuations that must accompany the air above a large river, how would they ever learn to fly? I mean, if a baby bird tries to step out of a nest built in a tree before he is really old enough, he will take quite a fall, but the forest floor is usually fairly soft--at least, compared to layers of tar and concrete traversed by tons of steel speeding across it at 80 mph every few seconds.
Then again, I thought, have we not all built our little family nests over major freeways these days? There do not seem to be any more forests with safe, silent trees, among which we can raise our young ones. Perhaps our parents had that luxury--although I doubt it--but it is definitely not our destiny to raise children in a world that is, for the most part, innocent. We have no more choice than our children do; we have to turn their minds skyward, no matter how loudly the traffic roars below. It is the only way they will be free; it is the only way they will survive.
May God grant our children safe passage as we labor to teach them to fly.
Yep. These kids love their little brother--always under mom's supervision, of course. Priya said to me, the other day, "Mom, I can't wait until I grow up." When I asked why, she said, "So I can have my own baby." I can't wait until she grows up either. That way, I can be the grandma and give the baby back to her while I get a good night's sleep!