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There is nothing greater than hearing stories about a mother’s love. Although Mother’s Day has passed, there is no time limit when it comes to the love of a mother. Perhaps one of the greatest loves I have seen is of a mother bird and her four babies.

Several weeks ago, I began to think about spring, bringing with it thoughts of gardening, window washing, entertaining, decorative wreaths and outdoor activities.

Almost three years ago, my husband and I sold the bed and breakfast we operated for 17 years from our home in Niagara Falls and moved to a beautiful apartment on one of Buffalo’s loveliest streets.

Downsizing was not an easy task. Once we had moved in and had a chance to look at our inventory, we lovingly chose to keep only the things that meant so much to us for 45 years.

My collection of wreaths, which adorned many rooms at the bed and breakfast, made me feel good. It was the symbol of welcoming as people came through my door. One wreath in particular had a very special meaning because it was hand made by my sister, who was a decorator and creator of beautiful things. I lost my sister more than a year ago, and it has been a great loss, so I hold dearly some of the things she made for me. This wreath was one of her creations.

I was in search of something special for our back door, which leads to the garden, so I ventured to the basement and found her wreath. It still had the scent of eucalyptus. I washed the windows on the door and proudly hung the wreath. It was perfect. Soon I began to notice an activity of birds, robins to be exact, fluttering and chirping as a means of letting others know they had found a home.

One day, as I stood facing the wreath, I realized it had gained a large lump on top. I thought it was a disturbed bow, but as I looked closer I knew what it was – a beautifully made nest was placed right in the middle. A quick decision had to be made before the family settled in. I had a chance to look into the nest from inside the house and found four beautiful, blue eggs placed on the bottom. It was then that I realized it was best to leave Mother Robin to her task, as she sat day and night to keep them warm and safe. I waited and watched and hoped I would witness their birth.

Then one morning, everything was aflutter with Mother Robin flying in and out and around the nest. I was so excited to see movement and briefly saw four tiny, bald creatures with beaks poking out, hoping to get some food.

It has been amazing to witness their rapid growth in such a short time. As the days passed, they actually looked a little crowded in their tiny home. When Mother Robin would leave to get food, I feared the babies’ flapping and fluttering would push them from the nest.

It has been wonderful to watch as she settled over them to keep them safe and well fed. Good mothers are priceless protectors and nurturers. Watching a simple creature bring babies into the world makes you realize how important it is to complete the circle.

My sister’s wreath was very symbolic, because she loved nature and children. She had no way of knowing she would one day provide a good home for Mother Robin and her babies.

The family has left now, but as I experience the empty-nest syndrome, I know I did my best to extend a warm welcome.