A Different Kind of Spring

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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!

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    The Conversation

  1. diane burke says:

    This blog was so beautiful it moved me to tears. And I LOVED the picture of you and Harry. I wish you the very best as you move into this new season of your life.

  2. Gary Balser says:

    I am so happy for you and Harry! Realize that this step is just one of many more “nest changes”. As the cormorants rearrange and build on their nest each Spring, you will find that the Lord has something new and exciting at every seasonal change. Hang on tight because the ride is exciting beyond your wildest imagination.

  3. Emma Lai says:

    Simple conversations are great for rekindling romance. While I’m happy with the bustling activity created by an 18 month old, I do long for the days when a quiet evening with hubby was on the agenda. Though it looks like Friday nights might be freeing up since I’ve swapped babysitting time with a dear friend–I watch her 15 month old for a couple of hours (so she can get much needed massages) and she watches our son Friday nights. Woohoo!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Emma–babysitting swapping is one of life’s great blessings! Enjoy every minute with your little one–and every minute you get to sneak away with your hubby!

  4. debianne says:

    My verse this year is Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
    “For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
    I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

    With my last child getting married…life holds so much as I look forward.
    I’ve seen each fledgling take flight and build their own “nest.” I’ve seen new birth (grandkids) and I’ve seen loss (grandchild)…but the rhythm of life, the ebb and flow, is so sweet at this stage.
    The opportunity of “starting over” with the love of my life and having time for us is “reward” for whatever heartache that have passed our way.
    Enjoy your time with Harry…it’s a sweet and precious time now!
    love ya’ll.

  5. Hi Connie,

    This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. Yes, this spring I am planning something new, and it requires a complete re-feathering of my nest…and lots of conversations.