This morning I had the privilege of watching a baby keskidee save it’s life and learn to fly with the help of several different species of birds. My children were having breakfast when they drew my attention to our dog smelling a small bird in the backyard. The bird stood completely still and the dog eventually walked away. The bird kept this position for about half a minute and then partly flew and hopped to the back wall about three feet away. During all of this larger bird s- keskidees, blue jays, ground doves and other species were making a ruckus – flying around and calling out as if for help. When the young bird reached the wall it tried to fly up but fluttered against the wall and fell to the ground. One or two birds of different species flew down and inspected it and then a full grown keskidee, which looked like its mother, flew down and fed it.
We realised that this young bird may be the product of a keskidee that had been observed building a nest in our fruitless sour lemon tree some time ago. These grown birds, possibly the parents, kept feeding it and flying back and forth as if trying to demonstrate how to fly. The young one eventually moved west along the ground near the wall using a combination of hops and fluttering. This area of the ground had a slight incline and thus it was easier for the bird to fly to the top of the wall if it intended to do so. The two grown keskidees continued providing food to the young bird as it surveyed the wall and practiced short flying bouts. Then suddenly the bird took the flight of its life and flew, not to the top of the wall, but higher to the length of razor wire above it just in time to receive food into its mouth from the mother.
That was a sight to behold. It seemed as if the mother was rewarding her child for achieving this feat.
This is a wonderful example of empowerment. The older birds were clearly agitated, as birds usually are when its young are out of the nest and cannot fly enough to defend itself, so they raised an alarm. They fed the young one, which indicated a level of caring and support, and which provided it with nourishment that helped in its effort to fly.
Parents make the same efforts as these birds each day as they try to deal with the challenges of life. To be Empowered is to be able to rise to the challenges even when you are most afraid, even when danger is in sight. It involves making enough noise to get the attention of those who can assist or support you in removing your child or yourself from a difficult situation. When our children are facing daily challenges, our goal is to encourage, model, nurture and support while providing their needs so that they can be fortified in mind and spirit to climb the hurdles they encounter or the ones they may have created by their choices.
Be like the birds and develop your community of support. Hang in there despite the difficulty, knowing that others are looking out for you and your children. And most of all, do not give up no matter how fearful you are. Continue to model to your children what is expected of them and nurture them through the difficult times. That is empowerment.
By Marina Torres, Development and Education Specialist