Every summer, we watch the young birds in our yard. A baby chickadee perches in a nearby tree and chirps until his mama comes to feed him. An immature robin swoops above, almost grazing my husband’s head as she learns to fly. A young nuthatch lands on a willow branch above our deck and hangs on for dear life, looking a little surprised she made it that far. Countless birds bonk into our windows as they learn the difference between reflection and reality.
I enjoy seeing the progression from baby birds to adult ones for its own sake. But I can’t help making comparisons to the same journey people make. Just like the birds, we learn to depend less on our parents and fly away from the nest. Some moments are comic, some joyous. The dangerous or low points are difficult for both the wayfarer to go through and the observer to watch. But we do, rooting for the young one to persevere and make it through.
Many of us write about this phase of life in young adult and new adult fiction. I’ll be leading a writing workshop about YA/NA historical romance Sept. 5-23 with the Hearts Through History branch of RWA (Romance Writers of America). If you’d like to learn more, see their website at http://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/category/classes/.