Faculty Blog


An Empty Nest and the Promise of a New Adventures

As we feel the warmth of summer approaching and the excitement of graduation week, for some families this is a time that signals the end of a journey and the start of a new adventure. It is also a time when nature comes alive with vibrant colors and sounds. I can hear birds chirping during the early hours of the morning, and I know that the promise of warmer days drew them back to our beautiful forests after the long winter months.

As I was starting a new week and thinking about nature’s array of activity, one of my students during advisor time at the start of the day–Jalen Winstanley, nature aficionado- brought to our attention the fact that this is the time of the year most important for bird migration. This conversation first prompted me to reflect on the beauty of birds and it also took me back to last summer’s events in my own life.

First, I wanted to learn more about this phenomenon and of course did a bit of digging on the subject. I found that we are living through The World Migratory Bird Day. If you are interested please visit their website where you will find more information on this wonderful event.

Second, I went back in time, back to the chirping of the past summer in my living room. Chimney swifts placed their nest in the chimney in my home. I heard them for 8 weeks, from dawn to dusk. I learned about their day and feeding schedule. Their visit was quite amazing and at times intrusive and irritating, with loud squeaking interrupting conversations, music or meditation. Still they were here and we knew that it would only take time until they would be flying away and restore some normalcy in our home.

This was also the summer when our youngest son Philip ’11 would be off to college and we were experiencing excitement and a certain degree of melancholy.

I will fast-forward to the morning of late August when we packed our sons, hugged them, and bid farewell for their trip to College. Our home felt lonely and its largeness real.

My husband and I were sitting on the deck talking and enjoying the sunny and tranquil evening. All of the sudden I came into the house for a second and it hit me. An eerie silence, no chirping, no sounds of children running around or teenagers playing music, stomping all over the place.

I went back outside looked up and on the tree right in front of me I could see them and listen to them. Our baby chimney swifts had left the nest that very afternoon and were flying free form branch to branch, singing and soaring in the air.

I could feel the tears in my eyes and as I wept, I experienced an overwhelming sense of happiness, love, and gratitude.

Every new step in our lives is a new adventure and if we welcome it as part of life, it will always bring us joy even through tears, tears that also are part of life.

Happy Graduation to our Fenn men!

Happy summer to all!

PS. It is almost summer and they are back! The boys and the birds! Life is good!

Posted by in Gisela Hernandez-Skayne on Monday May, 19, 2014


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An Independent Day School
for Boys Grades 4-9

516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

Tel: (978) 369-5800 Email:  info@fenn.org

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