Graduation season is over and preparations for students moving off to college have begun, many will struggle with their empty houses; I am struggling with my own empty nest.
About a month and a half ago I was mulching the garden and came across a mallard duck nest in the day lilies in our front yard. I was thrilled to see there were about six eggs and I gently stepped away so not to scare mama mallard off for long.
I had lively fantasies about being like police officer, Michael in “Make Way for Ducklings”. I imagined myself holding a hand up as Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings crossed the street.
My husband was also taken with the possibility of a mallard family. He dug grubs and set them on a tiny plate so Mrs. Mallard would not have to fly far and leave her eggs unattended (I am sure he would have watched the eggs if she had only asked.)
It was with deepest sorrow that we found the nest abandoned, egg-less, not even a trace of the shells a few weeks ago. Our son said he had heard chirping and was sure that the ducklings had hatched and that Mrs. Mallard had moved the ducklings off.
Bitter-sweet, indeed, the empty nest.