One morning a couple weeks ago I heard a great commotion of twittering and chattering out on the porch, and I ran out none too soon. The first baby swallow had dared to fly from the nest to a nearby plant-hanging bracket, and his parents were circling the porch, excitedly encouraging him on. By late afternoon, all four of them were gone, off to join the swooping scores of swallows that dance in the sky above our farm everyday.
It’s kind of a happy-sad thing to see them go. Happy because that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do and I don’t have to clean bird droppings off my porch floor anymore; sad because I’ll still miss their happy sounds, looking up to see them peeking over the edge of their nest at me, and watching them grow. This week, my baby turned one. She also started experimenting in the realm of walking. Right now she still tends to revert back to her (very skilled) version of a crab crawl after a couple wobbly steps, but I know soon enough she’ll be off and running, ready to explore the world. These days of her helpless sweet littleness are flying by so fast.
Again, that happy-sad feeling. The joy of watching her grow and learn and become her own little person is as great as the wistfulness I feel as I watch these precious baby years slipping away.
I thought about this as I watched those little birdies all fly away, and it was such a good reminder for me to cherish the sweetness amidst the chaos (because, yes, I have to admit that teething and dirty diapers are not always so sweet). Tomorrow, next week, next year there will be new joys, new sorrows. There will be new things to say goodbye to, and new things to welcome. But today with it’s unique gifts, challenges and blessings will never come again. David says it so well:
“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)
This is the day to savor the way she reaches up her little arms to be held, and the way she pops her thumb in her mouth and lays her little curly blonde head on my shoulder when she’s tired. This is the day to rejoice in the sound of her chanting “ma-ma-ma-ma” like I’m the most wonderful person in the world and the way she squeals and giggles when she sees a furry animal (stuffed or alive). This is the day to take videos of her trying to figure out how to put her own shoes on, and take pictures of the look on her face (very pleased) at her first taste of the frosting on her birthday cake, and write down that she said “uh-oh” when she dropped her ball over the edge of the couch. Yes, this is the day.
What has God given you today? What fleeting opportunities are there for you to seize? What precious memories are there for you to take joy in the making of? May you find them and rejoice in them greatly!
(See here and here for the rest of the story and pictures of these swallows!)