Flying Lessons

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Fledgling Bluejay (c) 2015

It’s fledgling season.

Fledge, as a transitive verb, means: “(1)  To rear until ready for flight or independent activity; (2)  To furnish with feathers.”

Tiny birds burst out of bushes at fender level, lifting by milliseconds out of oncoming cars’ paths.  Parental sentries warily scan their nests’ peripheries, screeching and swooping if a squirrel bounds too close to their young ones.

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Baby Quail (c) 2015

Where hatchlings cluster in the delicate days before fully testing their wings one can already see a hierarchy in place, more assertive newborns pecking at their recalcitrant siblings and even sweeping them aside as they venture toward the margins of the zone where their parents perch to guard them.

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Perching Guard (c) 2015

I am, technically speaking,  a grownup.  I assuredly am my children’s only surviving parent, and some of them occupy the chronological ground between childhood and adulthood.  Yet I am taking most of the lessons.  That fledgling bluejay perched indefinitely on the wooden fence ledge, glancing beseechingly back over his shoulder as if to ask whether he really is expected to let go and explore alone beyond the garden that is his home base?  Really?  Is this a good idea?  That’s me.

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While I have found comfort in returning to my original work, my children have ventured without fear into new places, figuratively and literally–from making new friendships to mapping out intricate proofs and gathering data across the globe to mathematically model the spread of infectious diseases.  How proud their father would be.

Perhaps they have been furnished with that other thing with feathers– the one “[t[hat perches in the soul,” that “sings the tune without the words,/And never stops at all.”

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like evidentiary issues, jury instructions, expert witnesses, and forensic evidence. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2016 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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3 Responses to Flying Lessons

  1. mishedup says:

    beautiful!

  2. DeniseGlennon says:

    Yes, Jim, where ever he is in our universe, he is incredibly proud of the kids. I also know in my heart that he is incredibly proud of you. You are in the world – you are doing it. It is not easy, but you are there and doing it beautifully. Much love.

  3. Marie Keates says:

    I’m sure I have become in one way braver with age. Wandering in the woods alone, walking for miles into unknown places. In other ways I’m more timid. Age has given me an appreciation of all the things that can happen when you’re not paying attention.

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