I am a little behind in sharing here. April has been calmer than March and we have enjoyed time at home together and also introducing Micah to church. Micah is now 7 months old (almost 5 months adjusted), and is doing well! He still has some follow up appointments but they will be lessening even more with time it looks like. We are working some with a PT to help him with gross motor flexibility. Oh by the way, he weighs almost 16 lbs and is over 2 feet tall now so if you have not met him or seen him in awhile – he’s pretty big lol. 🙂
This morning when we opened the front curtains right next to Micah’s mat we noticed the rosebush trellis had fallen over in the storm. I then looked at the nest (previously empty) that I knew was there and saw that the mama cardinal was sitting in it. When she flew away we got to see the eggs. We were so excited but also have been concerned about leaving the trellis down or raising it back up – we don’t know which is safer for the eggs.
This afternoon as I sat beside Micah playing on his mat, I watched the cardinal mom fly back to the nest in the rain and settle back in. I stared at her for a long while – glancing at the bird then back at Micah babbling next to me. A big rain drop fell on her and wicked off. I felt a chill deep inside me and in my mind I felt like I was sitting at the S11 parking lot at UNC waiting for the shuttle to take me to the hospital. There were a number of cool rainy days this past fall and early winter. If there was not a parking spot close enough to wait in my car I would wait under the covered bench for the shuttle which comes every 20 minutes (or longer sometimes). That was one of the hardest spots for me – there were a lot of small steps still to get to him after parking. I felt so far from Micah, felt I couldn’t keep him safe, couldn’t get to him as quickly as I wanted to. It was cool and wet and lonely – even under the shelter.
I think I stared at this bird often for about an hour. I wondered if she knew the trellis had fallen. Cardinals seek out the nesting spot with a lot of care so she had to have known it was lower than where she had built it. The wind seemed to blow the thin branches, I wondered if she was worried. There was nothing else she could do now to protect them – she couldn’t move the nest or the eggs.
Some mornings those days, I really got this:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
other mornings, the rain would seem to seep into me and my head felt wet and mushy with my weariness and despair. I didn’t feel strong enough. As I watched the rain wick off the bird today I could tell she was made for that – for that particular kind of nurturing and care out in the elements. When your baby is born prematurely it’s hard not to feel guilty or like your body didn’t work how it was “supposed to”, though logically you know it’s not your fault. As I watched the bird today I realized I was right really – I wasn’t strong enough. But God was. and in Christ I am re-made exactly to be Micah’s mom. I guess the reality is we aren’t strong enough on our own any day. I pray the memory of standing under that shelter can remind our family where our real shelter lies.