Who Is Mother Robin?

Me and two of my brothers. The other one was still waiting in the wings. c. 1966
  When I was a child, my mom introduced me to the joys of bird-watching. We had a small backyard that my mother landscaped by hand for years. She would rearrange azaleas and boxwood like you would your furniture. She hung a few bird feeders, then installed a concrete fountain with a smiling little girl cradling a shell from which water cascaded into a larger shell at her feet. She named the little girl after me, her only daughter. Below that was a small fish pond, no bigger than a bath tub, overgrowing with water hyacinth, duckweed, floating cabbage, and arrowroot. The whole garden was only the size of my garage now. But it was heaven to me. 
I'm not sure how many birds my mom knew when she started, but I caught the bug and together we learned a fair amount of the typical species one would expect at the feeder. We were fortunate to live across from a stream and near a wooded area. This occasionally brought in something unexpected! I'll always remember the excitement the day we scrambled to identify a rufous-sided towhee. 
But my earliest recollection of hearing my mother talk about the birds, long before the fountains, and fish ponds, was when she would point out "Mother Robin." It was never just a plain ol' robin that was poking for worms, it was always "Mother Robin." Mother Robin securing choice morsels for her hungry babies. Never out of sight of her nest. Putting her family first. Rejoicing with her mate after a storm, "Cheer-up, cheer-up, cheerily!"
I married. We moved. And moved. And moved. For someone whose parents still live in the house she was born in, this moving was hard stuff. At last, though, we--the three of us then-- came to be settled. I knew the house was meant for us because there, in the middle of a wretchedly harsh winter, were robins darting around by the score. And so I named the house Robin's Rest as a symbol that we were done with migrating too. And that's how I came to dub myself Mother Robin, keeper of the nest. 
My real name means "the grey fortress." My aim is for our home--our nest--to provide a strong shelter for our nestlings, wherein we teach them to love their Creator and give thanks for His Creation. And when they are ready to fledge, we desire that they make the world a better place even if it's simply with their song. Cheer-up, cheerily!



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