Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cleared for Takeoff

Our second clutch of under-the-porch barn swallow babies took flight today! We got to see the whole sequence from our living room window. Annie noticed that one of the three fledglings was not in the nest any longer, leaving just his two siblings in the ol' homestead.

"Criminey, did you see Bob?! He just jumped right out of the nest and took off, wow!"

"Bob's nuts, you know that. Don't you even think about doing it yourself!"

"But Mom and Dad are out there, look at 'em go! Come on, it's not THAT far down ..."

"I ain't leavin' this nest, no way, no how, and if you do you're -- PHIL!! Geez, Phil just took a dive!"

"Hey Phil, you OK?"

"Yeah yeah ... (pant pant pant) ... I'm good it's just that's a little farther than I thought. This ledge is looking pretty good right about now, I have to say."

"You're screwed, dude, eventually those dog things are gonna come back out and then you're lunch. Get back up here!"

"I can't! I can't remember what I did ... oooo, here comes Mom, maybe I should just spread these wings out and see what happens ... YEEEE HAAAAWWW!"

"Oh. My. God. I can NOT believe he just did that! Oh my, now I'm all alone ... This nest sure looks empty. Gulp."

"Bubba! Get your feathered butt out here! Can't you see how much fun we're all having? It's easy come on!"

"No way Mom! Do you know how far DOWN that is?! You're nuts!"

"Do NOT talk to your mother like that, young man! You get out of that nest right now and take flight -- all the other kids are doing it!"

"Weeeeeellllll ... "

Luckily little Bubba eventually caught on and took his own personal leap of faith as well. They're all madly winging about in the field out back even as I write this, happy as only a family on wing can be.

You could almost feel the joy coming off the little guys as they took their first flight, older siblings darting in and out, daring each other to more and more adventurous maneuvers, complete dread and fear turned instantly into exuberant joy and exhileration as the skies opened up to them.

Sometimes taking that first step requires all the courage you can muster, but man how it pays off! Take a lesson from these little swallows today, and do something you've been both dreading and anticipating. Spread your wings and fly, baby, FLY!


Sharon said...

JEFF! I am trying so hard to tell you how touched I am by your observations but YOUR bleeping method of modern communication is inhibiting my gratitude! I'm gonna just call if this doesn't go throught this tim :)

a contrite sharon said...

oops - figured it out hehe he

I learn the best things from you and Annie. Letting baby birds poop all over your deck and then singing out their flight with obvious admiration for their feat......Just doesn't get any better!