October 16, 2018
The ranch house next door was torn down, and “The White House,” as we call it, was built in its place, an enormous home. It had a stunning front porch bordered with white columns and a back deck complemented with a white pergola. The new construction filled the lot, and we were now face-to-face with our neighbors in our backyards. I suggested to my husband that we plant a small tree on our property that would allow us, and them, some privacy. Our neighbors kindly welcomed the idea. We decided on a redbud tree. With its vibrant spring flowers and heart-shaped green leaves throughout the summer, we loved our new tree. It provided just the right amount of fullness and height to do the trick. In the spring, I hung a weathered cardinal-shaped birdhouse on one of its limbs. It was old and had never housed anything before, but it gave our tree a little added character and charm. Early one morning, I noticed twigs sticking out of the birdhouse. A couple days later, my husband and I watched a small wren toting blades of cut grass and twigs into the birdhouse. A nest was being built. Shade from the tree's leafy branches and a strong protective covering almost hid the birdhouse. One summer morning, my husband called me onto the patio. He whispered, “Listen.” We sat still and waited. Within minutes, the mother wren, with a mouthful of food, flew into the tree’s birdhouse. Suddenly high-pitched chirps exploded out of the nest. The nest was full of baby wrens! For many days, it was a joy listening to them. We watched their parents land in our safe protective tree, and then fly into the birdhouse, food in mouth, knowing instinctively how to care for them. And then that amazing, celebratory day came when the baby wrens rose from our redbud tree birdhouse and flew away.