I love the promise of eggs laid by songbirds in nesting boxes on my land. I should have learned by now that it’s foolish to get attached. Life is fragile and precarious, especially this cool wet spring.
There were five blue eggs in a nesting box and then five thriving hatchlings when the Bluebird mama disappeared. Since this box is near my house, I noticed she wasn’t around even though her mate was there.
After a few days of no feeding activity, I opened the door to the box and wept. I’ll spare you the quiet photo of the babes huddled together—wet, cold, and dead. Did a Hawk grab the mama? Many Hawks soar over my fields this year. They’re hungry, too.
I removed the nest, buried the little ones, and sterilized and aired the box before closing the door. Then I waited. Just down the fence, a Tree Swallow built her nest and laid four eggs surrounded by feathers. I watched and hoped, quickly forgetting the price of attachment to what I can’t control.
Further down the trail, I found a nesting box with four Bluebird eggs. My feelings soared. A few days later, the eggs were gone without a trace or shell. An egg swallowed whole is usually a snake’s work. They have to eat, too.
A few days later, in another new nesting box, I found three Bluebird eggs. They’re still there with an incubating mama. Will they survive?
Three naked Swallowtail babies hatched in their feather bed with one egg waiting. Will it make it? There are no guarantees. All I can do is watch.
The box where the Bluebird babies died now has six Wren eggs. A Chickadee built a moss nest in a seventh box, but there were no eggs.
Birds teach me to try again when things go wrong. Even more, they teach me to witness the rough places in life with less attachment.
I search for a deeper wisdom within that watches nature and my own life with fewer opinions about the outcome. Who says a Bluebird is more valuable than a Wren? Both are native birds. And, like humans, predators are hungry.
I’m doing all I can to protect birds and butterflies. The milkweed thrives and waits for Monarchs. I plant parsley and encourage dill for Swallowtails. The bird nesting boxes are in places that have worked for years and I take care of them as I always have. It’s hard to accept that the outcome is not up to me.
I want to learn how to stand at the crossroads of life and death with the Goddess Hecate, the Wise Crone.
Hecate doesn’t save us from taking large or small initiatory journeys down under, those experiences we’d rather avoid. As the Wise Feminine or Lunar Consciousness, She witnesses our going down and coming up, our transitions at the crossroads where we stand. When someone we love dies or our health fails or we leave home or suffer any loss and don’t know where to turn, we’re in Hecate’s realm.
This ancient moon goddess is with us in our deepest transformations. Hecate is at the crossroads in our darkest hour, in our biggest challenges, in the confusing waiting times, in the darkness before a new beginning. Win or lose, She’s there.
Are you learning to watch how life develops rather than thinking you know the right outcome or the best plan? For another post about the Greek Goddess Hecate, see one of my most well read pieces Have They Forgotten They Are Mortal? Lessons from Hecate. For another post about Nature’s lessons, see Healed by Nature, Inspired by Love.