The nest is but an empty shell. It sits on the lowest branch of our neighbour’s palm tree. I can see it from my window as I write.
To look at it now, in mid-winter Adelaide, it looks cold, hard and lifeless.
A pair of Murray Magpies built it from mud last Spring. Then they took it in turns to bring materials to line it with warmth and love–and a Murray-Magpie-mud-nest-full of our roof insulation. We had enough to share.
Over the next few weeks the birds kept the nest warm and each other company much of the time. Of course, they may well have been guarding the nest from neighbourhood cats and possums. Beware anything that gets between a Murray-Magpie-mum and her eggs!
The day arrived that we saw tiny beaks poke up to be shoved full of whatever mum and dad bird collected.
But, as happens, the chicks grew–too big for the nest. The chicks flew away.
Too soon the nest was empty.
Summer passed. Autumn too.
And now, Winter sits. Its long, dark clouds hang like a lifeless shroud.
The nest is but an empty shell. It sits and sways on a dying palm branch, waiting silently for the warmth of Spring that promises new life and love.
And this empty shell, from which I watch, fills with the warmth of hope.
Julie Hahn 12th August 2017