family tree


We have a family of robins in the tree just outside our front door. I can see them from my office/studio, huge mouths open wide on bobbing little heads. Dad and mom robin have been tirelessly bringing worms back to the nest for days now. It never ends. When do they rest?

Yesterday, during a huge storm with high winds, mom sat like a puffed up plug on top of the nest, babies safe below. Through field glasses, I could see her rocking in discomfort as the babies squirmed below, determined to stay anchored and protect her brood from the elements.

My own childhood comes to mind. Dad, tirelessly making sure we had food and shelter. Mom, determined to protect us from, well, everything. They did their best, followed their instincts, and hoped it worked out. In many ways, what they accomplished in raising us is amazing - our family tree is fraught with broken boughs and unhappy nests. And yet that which goes undiscussed and denied has taken its toll.

As I struggle with my own sense of compassion and forgiveness - for my parents and for myself - these little guys give me hope.