Archived Story

A woman’s work is never done

Published 8:25am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Call me a feathered voyeur.

I like watching birds. Maybe it’s because of their freedom of flight, their graceful wings fully extended in search of the next updraft. Or maybe my fascination with these winged creatures is connected to their work ethic.

During the spring, it’s hard not to notice the abundance of birds filling the sky. Without “roads” or traffic signals to follow, it’s a wonder they don’t crash into each other.

It’s also hard not to notice, especially during the springtime, the number of nesting birds. Our office building here in Ahoskie has nests seemingly on every nook, corner and cranny. On the pressroom side of the building are many pipes, so old, some new, penetrating the walls. Birds will build nests in those openings and the cries of their young are so loud that they echo throughout the pressroom.

On the back loading dock area are several nesting sites. That’s our designated smoking area so I often get a chance to watch the mother birds work their nests, attending to their young.

What simply amazes me about the mother birds is their never-ending quest to seek morsels of food in order to feed their young. From sunrise to sunset, rain or shine, hot or cold, these adult birds are non-stop. From their lofty vantage point they are able to spot and retrieve insects, rushing that food back to their appreciative babies. Others prefer to forget they are able to defy gravity and walk upon Mother Earth, pausing to use their pointed beaks to scratch the surface in search of worms or other forms of “baby bird food.”

Their habits are much like the female human race, especially those who have experienced motherhood. No, women don’t go around poking their noses in the ground in search of food for their family, but they do work from dawn to dusk in an effort to support the ones they love.

Our mothers were and always will be the person responsible for giving life to her offspring. She “nested” for nine months before sending us into the world. Once we arrived, she remained the nurturer, ensuring we were warm and dry as well as satisfying our hunger pains. That’s evident today as I proudly watch my daughter, Danielle, taking care of the needs of her son, my grandson, Brody. And from the smile on Brody’s six-month-old face, he’s appreciative of what his mom is providing.

When we became scared or frightened, it was our mother’s lap that provided shelter from even the worst of demons. When we fell and suffered a bump, bruise or scrape, it’s a mother’s kiss that heals all wounds.

She didn’t teach us what love was…she demonstrated that emotion daily. She taught us respect, whether it came with a stern warning or from a paddling.

A day or so ago, I was on the back loading dock where I noticed a baby bird alone on the ground. It was too small to fly, even though it attempted to stretch its wings a time or two. I thought maybe it was abandoned, awaiting a slow death from a predator, such as a neighborhood cat.

However, I watched in amazement as a mother bird took turns feeding the other babies still in the nest as well as this wayward child. Again, my thoughts turned to a human mother, still taking care of her young even after they leave the comforts of the “nest.”

I sure hope you didn’t forget that this past Sunday was Mother’s Day. I sincerely hope that you took the time to celebrate that day with the woman who gave you life, whether it was taking her out to lunch or just a simple afternoon visit.

I wish my mom was alive to enjoy this special day. She always loved to be pampered and deservingly so, on Mother’s Day. I wish so badly to wrap my arms around my mom; to smell her sweet perfume and feel her warm and loving embrace.

While Blanche Joyner Bryant is no longer here, I can still celebrate her existence on this Earth. And I can do that by paying tribute to the hard-working and loving mothers within our family…my wife, my daughter, my sisters-in-law, my aunt, my nieces and my cousins.

To each I offer my love and my thanks for building and maintaining “nests” that are always there to provide comfort to her young, no matter their age.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

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