It was a beautiful day in the early summer when I went down to let my two golden retrievers out to the yard. I had rained at night, and the air was crisp and fresh. In the back of our yard, we had six big Cedar trees that provided us with the sense of being in the woods. In addition to providing us with shade, they housed a number of creatures. These creatures provided entertainment for our family. One of the inhabitants was a family of Stellar Jays. We had watched them build their nest early in the Spring, had waited eagerly in anticipation of the little baby birds, and had been serenaded by their songs early every morning.
What I didn’t know when I opened the door to let the dogs out was that the Stellar Jay family had decided that this was the day that junior would learn to fly. Junior didn’t look very junior anymore, in fact, he was now larger and louder than either of his parents, who faithfully spent the day feeding him and nurturing him in preparation for this grand day. The day he would fly! Except that he didn’t fly, he jumped off the nest and landed right in the middle of the yard, only to be spotted by my golden retriever who immediately moved to do what she was bred to do – to retrieve the bird who lay helplessly and loudly on the ground. This all happened within seconds, the door opened, junior jumped and fell, the dog ran and retrieved, and a whole racket of sound of screaming from junior, his parents and from me took over the yard!
Thankfully, my golden retriever had learned to do my bidding, so she immediately dropped junior on command, and came back into the house as told. My heart was pounding, as I quickly moved over to the window, wondering if junior would survive this ordeal. After loud screaming, and checking, junior was coaxed back on to the tree where he spent the rest of his day jumping (flying?) from branch to branch.
When I look at my teenage children, I can’t help but think of junior. They are large, loud, and very confident. They assure me that they can fly, but I know that my job is not over yet, that I need to still hold on them as they practice from branch to branch until they really become viable and are able to fly!