The 4:30 p.m. lesson has ended. Now the juvenile robin sits quietly in the sunlit lower branches of the catalpa tree waiting for its next instruction. Every so often it sharpens its beak on the limb beneath it.

Earlier, on the grass outside my bedroom window, the young robin stood observing its father. The older robin cocked its head to the side listening and then jabbed at the damp grass to pull out a fat worm. The younger robin squawked expectantly, until its father broke the worm up into smaller pieces that it could place in its offspring’s gaping mouth.

A quick snap. I didn't want to disturb her.
Directly across from the catalpa, a female robin has chosen the downspout against our house to construct a beautiful nest for her three cyan coloured eggs. For several mornings, she gathered and arranged twigs, mud and grasses—using her breast to firmly press these bits and pieces down. Amazing! She knows that you need the correct ratio of wet/dry materials to build a proper nest. I noticed that she has even woven in a pretty piece of baby blue plastic. Although she is more exposed than if she had nested in a tree, I think she has chosen wisely. It was quite blustery before dawn this morning and her nest weathered it well.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here in the suburbs. But then I remember that like the robin who built her fine nest beneath the eaves, I also chose this house. Where the yard is green and peaceful, the leaves on the tall trees tremble, and the peonies and lilacs smell sweet in the spring. This house made of brick where I felt at home and safe enough to bring my own child into this world.