Today is Mother’s Day. I’m not one. I’m apparently surrounded by them, though. There are signs of new life everywhere, from baby turtles around the pond to tiny killdeer in the pasture, to eggs in the nest under the horse trailer.
I found the little egg on Easter Sunday, picking it up as gingerly as I did the dyed eggs in the backyard on my 5th Easter. I’d had to be careful that day, since my other arm was broken from an unsuccessful attempt at riding my bike with my eyes closed. With training wheels.
The little egg must have fallen from somewhere, but I couldn’t find a nook or a nest. Somehow the delicate shell had survived the impact with the pavers, but probably wouldn’t be as lucky with a trampling by dogs or horses.
I thought maybe the mama finch with the nest under the horse trailer would adopt the little egg, even though her eggs were a few times the size. I carefully cradled it in my palm and shuffled down the hill and into the pasture, where I ducked under the trailer and reached up toward the nest.
Four scraggly heads unexpectedly popped up.
And I dropped the little egg.
I wish I could say that the shell broke, and a beautiful bird, already fully formed, magically emerged and took majestic flight into the blue skies of forever.
But the shell broke, and yolk splattered all over the gravel.
Not all over, I guess. This egg was little.
I felt like I’d irreparably disrupted the circle of life. I really did. I’m sensitive, but not THAT sensitive. I don’t know, maybe the shutdown was starting to get to me.
Last Sunday, I ducked under the trailer for my daily tiny-chick check-in, but the nest was empty. Their home was so well-protected, tucked in a gap a few inches beneath the trailer bottom, that I was confident the four baby birds had finally grown enough to move on.
A straggling shell remnant in the nest caught my eye.
A big piece.
More than half.
An entirely new egg nestled in the corner, in place of the little egg that never was.
Each morning, another egg appeared, until there were 4 again.
There were a half-dozen eggs in the nest this morning.
I guess I didn’t disrupt the circle of life as irreparably as I thought.
I still feel bad, though.