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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Prayer for the Fledglings

by Angier Brock

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ~ Meister Eckhart

 I have been watching a robin’s nest, beautifully woven together in a tangle of coral honeysuckle vines in my back yard. When I discovered the nest a few weeks ago, it contained three blue eggs. Every few days, I checked on the eggs, sometimes taking a small step ladder and my camera. I knew when the first egg hatched, and the second, and the third. I watched as those three bare hatchlings grew, opened their eyes, and sprouted feathers.

On Mother’s Day, my visiting granddaughters were thrilled to observe the nest from a distance and to glimpse a baby robin raise itself up and flutter its wings, discovering what might be possible. The next morning, the nest was empty. The young birds had gone.

Spring is the season for fledglings—everything from birds that hatch and grow and leave their nests to young people who graduate from high school or college and leave their respective homes or dorm rooms to head out on the next phase of their journeys.

In fact, I think there must be something of the fledgling in each one of us, something just on the verge of becoming itself. No matter how old we are or how mature, there is something new in each of us that is vulnerable, something that is not yet fully accomplished—but that is nevertheless ready to try to come into its own.  

Being a fledgling is a risky business. What if our wings don’t quite work? What if we can’t find our own food? What if there’s a snake in the grass, waiting to swallow us up? It can be easy to want to remain in the nest where we feel safe and secure. But once we have been called to fledge, it is time to find the energy and courage to do so.

I don’t know where those little robins are now. Their parents seems to be lingering in the area, so perhaps the fledglings too remain nearby, hanging out in the undergrowth as they continue learning to manage the complexities of their lives. Where ever they are, may they dodge would-be predators. May they find the food and water that they need. And may their wings always be strong enough to take them to what is possible, to bear them up in flight.


  1. B-U-Ti-Full! Thanks for posting this on Twitter, and for looking out for them!