The Old Man On The Mountain

A View From the Backwoods of NH

Mrs. Robinson

From the spring of 2015

It was an especially hard winter this year, both personally and weather-wise. I’d hoped I’d make it to spring, although there were a few times when I sincerely doubted it. And as I looked around at the things that I’d miss, one that kept appearing was the robin’s nest just outside my bathroom window.

IMGA0710Mrs. Robinson is what I called her. From the first spring that I began living here, she built her nest outside my window and raised brood after brood of young birds. You could hardly tell she was there at first, sitting so quietly, blending in with her surroundings. This was the corner of an open air shed that I used to store my summer tools – lawn mower (which I moved), lawn sweeper, lawn cart and wheelbarrow.

Because she was in such close proximity to my bathroom window (about 5 feet), I’d always check to see if she was nesting and gently slide the window open so as not to frighten her. It didn’t take her long to see that I wasn’t there to bother her, and she went about her life with just your typical caution at my comings and goings.

Each year she would return, to the same nest, adding another inch of padding to the previous year’s nest. Like the hummingbirds and the finches, she was a staple of life. When I told my Mom about her the first year, she laughed at the name I’d chosen and would always look forward to the stories and pictures of her different broods. Mom loved robins just as she loved the spring, and even though she was in the winter of her life, my stories seemed to take her back to her younger days.

Well, I guess you can tell, since I’m writing this now, that I made it to the spring, and hopefully for a long time to come. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Mrs. Robinson. As I watched the snow leave and spring jump upon me, I kept an eye out for the first robin. As they came back I kept checking to see if Mrs. Robinson had started adding another layer to her nest, as she’d done the previous five years. But there is no movement now, just a silence that, to me, is as loud as a cannon.

You see, Mom passed a few years ago and, even though she’s gone, I’d think of her every time Mrs. Robinson would nest a new brood. And watching as life began anew I would cherish how much my Mom loved spring, with all things new and beautiful again. I felt a bond of happiness that flowed between the three of us – of the beauty of nature, the appreciation of life and the privilege I had of having been there for both. Goodbye Mrs. Robinson – fly safe, and give my love to Mom.