The spring after I purchased my first house about seven years ago, a lovely new neighbor moved in. Mama and Papa Finch built a nest at the top of one of the columns on my front porch.
Every year, I looked forward to watching them flutter from their nest to the tree in front of my house and hearing them sing as the sun set. My heart was filled with eager anticipation for the moment when I would first see little beaks peaking over the sides of their nest. Mama and Papa Finch brought new life into the world every year, and those lives enriched my own.
A few weeks ago, a major tragedy disrupted the lives of the Finch family. Their nest, and two babies, fell from their stable home and landed on my porch. I buried their children in my back yard, marking their grave with a brick. I reluctantly picked up the delicate and intricate nest and cleaned up the debris that had fallen from it.
I was devastated, but surely not to the extent that my sweet neighbors were. I cannot imagine the pain of losing both a home and two children all at once.
About one week later, a miracle occurred. I walked onto my front porch to find a pile of twigs at the bottom of my porch column. Mama and Papa Finch were in the process of rebuilding their nest and starting their lives over. I was filled with joy to know that my favorite neighbors would not be leaving their home, our home.
Over the course of two days, I watched the twig pile grow. Various configurations of twigs formed at the top of the column, with pieces hanging to the left on day and to the right the next. It was evident that the Finch family was busy at work.
But then another tragedy struck. A sudden and intense thunderstorm passed through. The wind was strong enough to tear a piece of siding off of my house. The wind overwhelmed the Finch family's twig collection and by the end of the storm it was gone, scattered across the lawn and into the street. Just when they had started over, another tragedy came along.
While it is too early to tell if Mama and Papa Finch will start rebuilding again, I am confident that they will. Their resilience has been an inspiration to me. The Finch family has taught me that even when our world comes crashing down, or our life seems to sweep away, the love in our hearts remains. They have faith in the future and a strong sense of fearless optimism. And so do I.