I’ve been watching spring in action lately. On “Captain Connie” days on the Silver River, our pontoon boat cruises past a small Cypress tree island that pulses with frantic activity. Dozens of sleek, green-eyed, black cormorants (diving birds) are hard at work among the branches–building, re-furbishing and re-arranging. As we get closer, I start counting. To date there are 12 nests, but the flurry of activity continues. Every day, more twigs and branches are flown in and the nests get bigger and tighter and more secure. The birds are diligently preparing for spring, for new life, for change. I’m thrilled to get a bird’s-eye-view, as it were, of the miracle of rebirth.

I’m feeling a bit like those nesting birds these days. Only I’m not getting ready for babies; I’m re-arranging my nest and adjusting to a different kind of spring. My fledglings are flapping their wings and learning to fly on their own. It’s normal and natural and good, but it still feels a little uncertain. My head knows it’s part of the process. It’s what we spent so many years preparing them for. My heart, though, will admit that some days…it’s lonely. Too quiet. Strange. I flop and flap around my too-empty house, bumping into furniture, feeling like my wings won’t work right and I’m all off balance. For this mama bird, I have to re-learn to fly without the weight of little hands holding mine. It is at once freeing and a little sad. That time of my life is over. So I sit quietly. I cherish. I remember. I get a little misty sometimes. But I refuse to stay there.

Because I know, as you do, that the present must give way to the future. That sometimes one thing has to ease back to make room for something else, something more. I love the growth in my relationship with my children. The shift from full-time parent to friend and advisor is precious. And fun. It brings out the best in all of us—without the anger and frustration and power struggles of the frantic teen years.

These days, as I’m re-arranging my nest—both literally and figuratively—I’m asking God, “What’s next?” I’m getting super-excited about the possibilities. I’m wondering and planning and dreaming about how to use the talents and gifts and abilities and dreams God planted in my heart to make a difference in this world.

There have been some quiet surprises, too. Without the noise and clutter and frantic pace, I’m falling in love—all over again–with this wonderful man I married. My heart is full to overflowing. Who knew simple conversations could be such fun?

My Hubby and me

I’m rekindling and deepening friendships with family and friends who got a bit neglected during “the crazy years.” What blessings in the ties of shared memories and time spent.

So as the cormorants build their nests, I’m gearing up for my new season, too. I’m approaching it with joy and wonder and reverence and, some days, slightly unsteady steps. But isn’t that always part of the adventure of life??

What’s new in your nest this spring? Are you re-arranging, cleaning out, getting ready for something new?? I’d love to hear from you!