Outside my study window, eye level with my computer, winter’s fierce breath had stripped the bush of leaves obscuring the nest, long abandoned by its parents. Only last spring did the brownish-orange flicker of the cardinal’s wing alert me to her presence as she sat upon the nest, occasionally changing position of her wings; beneath her, her eggs. In spare moments I watched, thrilling when her mate fed her a glistening worm dappled by the sun. Nine days passed.

More high drama evolved with the birth of two chicks, their yellow mouths grimacing for food; insects, the first few days, then regurgitated seeds, fed by both parents. With this nutrition, the chicks quickly feathered out and stretched their wings into each other.

However, loss crumpled me the morning I discovered the empty nest. According to my information, the family had another three days of feeding before moving on. And cardinals never return to old nests; new nests for new life.

This experience mirrors my present one: the emptiness of my spirit, ill suited for my eighty-five-year-old body. Bereft of dream recall, of significant images, I move into each twenty-four hours seeking Higher Power’s guidance and support. Yet composing this blog evidences Another’s supplying the words.

I am not alone, but must wait before abandoning my nest. It’s not up to me.