While I was home for lunch yesterday, I ate my food with a great view of the side yard. Since Venise took the blinds and screens off the kitchen windows, we have a clear unobstructed view of nature (which, as I have posted before, I prefer to enjoy from behind a window anyway). I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and finally saw a brown squirrel among the leaves on the ground. I saw her put something in her mouth, then scurry up the nearest tree and jump her way across branches to another tree, wherein she disappeared for a few seconds. Then there she was again, backtracking her same route down to the ground. Ever the nature-ignorant person, I asked Ed to look and tell me what she had in her mouth. He laughed and said she was gathering piles of leaves and taking them up the tree to build a nest.
After I was clear on what I was looking at, the little squirrel began to fascinate me. She could gather an enormous quantity of leaves in her mouth and in her many trips back and forth, I saw only one leaf slip away and float back to the ground.
The irony did not escape me. In my blog, I give a description of Ed and me as "empty nesters," with the kids grown and married and starting families of their own, and "just us" here. That fact again presented itself when we signed a disclosure paper, which in part, gave reasons why we were selling the house. Venise wrote something like, "Their children have grown up and moved out and the house is much, much too big for just the two of them."
"The two of them." Yep, that's us. In my original family, it was the 4 of us - Mom, Dad, sister Joy, and me. Then I got married and again it was the 4 of us - Ed and me, Rachel and Matthew. And now it is the 2 of us. Although we have extended and enlarged the family with additions of Chris and Sarah and Caroline and Charlotte, as well as Joy's family, it still comes down to the 2 of us.
The little squirrel is just starting out for the season, carefully preparing her nest for the little ones to come. And we are at the other end of the spectrum, cleaning out, getting rid of, and other duties befitting our new status of "empty nesters." It reminds me so much of one of the most poignant parts of the Bible:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build...
And the cycle of life continues. And I am so grateful to be a part of it - whatever stage I'm in.