Monday, July 20, 2009
"Mama Peach" is on her nest this morning, and something in her eye--a watchful but calm and peaceful glint--makes me feel envious of her leafy retreat in the peach tree.
I begin my summer mornings with a walk around the yard, cup of coffee in hand. The cat trails behind me, stopping to wash when I pause to inspect the blooms or pull a few weeds.
The peach tree hangs heavy with an offering that should be ready next month. I inspect the soft peach-fuzzy fruit in the morning sun from several angles, the way I would if I had my camera.
And that's how I discover Mama Peach's nest.
There is no bird on the nest, but three eggs wait in the nest's deep bowl. I try not to worry that the eggs are unattended. It's early in the day, and robins--quintessential early birds--leave their nests to grab worms before the heat drives them to wriggle deeper underground. Besides, a mother robin often doesn't settle on the eggs until she is through laying--four being the average number of eggs per nest--to ensure that the babies hatch at pretty much the same time.
So I trust nature to manage what it's done so well for time immemorial. And there are multitudes of robins in the yard to bolster my faith.
But I do peer daily through the peach boughs, and I'm always relieved when I see Mama Peach sitting, immobile and camouflaged, on her nest.
Today she looked so content that I found myself wistful. Her task, needing only time and patience, requires her to remain still and out of life's spotlight. Seeing her reminded me of the times years ago when I'd settle in a quiet room, rocking the baby at my breast to sleep. I heard life go on around me: muffled conversations from the other room, the TV, the ringing phone. I knew what was happening. Like Mama Peach, I was hidden, but not apart. I felt as content then as Mama Peach looks now. She reminds me of the pleasure such quiet interludes bring.
By the time the peaches are ready for picking, Mama Peach will be caring for her babies. I'll wait patiently for fruit and fledglings. Some things deserve time.
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”