Once upon a time (which really was about five years ago) I was sitting at the little bistro set I have on my deck, enjoying reading and the shade under my green market umbrella. The sun was shining brilliantly and the day was perfect.
My small deck is populated with a grill, a little bistro set with its umbrella that I take in and out as the occasion demands, some plants along the sides of the deck, a hummingbird feeder as well as a very small unobtrusive wind chime. Tiny tinkle type sounds came out of it. Perhaps that is why "they" chose it to build a home.
As I stated in the first line, I was sitting at the wee table reading when I saw movement at the wind chimes location. The wind chime had small little cylinder, not much bigger than an eight ounce can of tomato sauce. Suspended from it were five small tuned pipes and a little metal circle in the center that provided the base for the little chimes to hit against, making their sound.
I had missed what made the movement at first but before my eyes returned to the book, I saw a sweet sight. A family of Carolina wrens had set up their home inside that tiny cylinder. They entered it through what looked to me to be far too small an opening. What is more, they had two babies. I saw their heads shadowed against the frosted white of the cylinder when momma and poppa flew in to feed their two babes.
I was not allowed to remain on the deck for several weeks as the parents sat on the rail or on the roof overhang and scolded me mercilessly.
I had no desire to upset them but it meant giving up sitting out on the deck any time in the daylight hours. They were worth it.
So, I bowed to their demands and waited. One day several weeks in, I was in the living room and saw a dusky little wren who had fledged at last. His parents sat on the rail of the deck while he and then his sibling fluttered down and settled right beside my large window, Their wings fluttered again and again with their parents encouraging them.
Friends, I am here to tell you their new plumage was so very soft that their sweet beating wings had no sound as they fluttered; and their wings looked as soft and tender as though they had been cut from satin. Oh, the little loves. I was enchanted.
It was the first time I have borne witness to a little family so close to me. The wind chimes touched my big window so they were that near when they lived inside.
I felt saddened when they flew away but then, it is the way of the world. Parents of all species care for their little ones when they are helpless and stay by their sides as they learn to be independent.
I am smiling even now at the memory of those soft small miracles. I say thank you for that sweetness.