She noticed it before I did, for it was new under that tree. Anything different and she is alert instantly. The rain and wind the evening before had shaken it from its resting place. Fortunately, it was from earlier in the Spring with the family since moved away.
It glistened as it lay beside the pine, as if a beacon wiling its find. I took one picture, and then was drawn back to it a second time. With the first picture, I was listening to it speak of home that strives to weather the storms that arise. Or perhaps it wanted to speak of moments that bring unforeseen change in our lives. The second picture willed me to listen and listen again to what this nest desired to speak. I believe its message is about the miracles that exist in the tiniest of things.
Perhaps it is how we as humans can feel when we see the architecture of a building made by hand, ancient temples and colosseums that stand so regal, so grand. I ponder if winged beings feel the same when one of their own’s work is complete. To think that something sturdy to hold the weight of new life is made with a beak.
I have not been privileged to witness the full process of a nest’s making; only occasionally have I seen a stick in the mouth of one of my friends with wings. I think of their flight to gather what they need. Back and forth, perhaps sometimes their parameter farther reaching. And I anticipate their eyes are continually searching, on a mission to find the sticks that best bend and mold to their liking.
Their feet are probably tools that join in how the nest takes shape. A toe here as the beak tucks there, every threaded stick in just the right place. I marvel at how these small beings intuitively know when they have the nest ready for its weight. When it is time for the precious cargo to be placed in the bottom for safekeep. With one parent, or both taking turns, laying on top until the hatchings.
I think about the sturdiness of this tiny object that withstands heavy rains when it is filled with life. How something so fragile holds up against weather that sometimes beckons us humans to stay inside. I think about its complexity, and its simplicity. A perfect blend of both, yet another example of nature’s elegant balancing.
I reflect on how us humans can tend to approach certain things. Do you think we would stop at the size of the nest as it is, or do you think we would keep building? Would we question ourselves if it was to the “right” specifications yet again this year? Or would we be filled with second-guessing, doubt, fear? Would we rely on our experiences of the past to know that we had built it exactly as it needed to be? Or would we lean more towards a start from scratch mentality?
The gift for us as humans is that we get to dance between such opposites as I doubt, and I know. It is in that gap between where we best grow. Our feathered friends don’t have the opportunity to dance between the gap, or sometimes I think maybe they do. After all, beneath their plume of colors is a soul, too. Anyway, what can we learn from our winged friends in this tiny, sturdy, nest built from hand that grows life? Do we have opportunity to simplify?