The other day I found a bird’s nest. It was from a previous summer, buried tightly in the branches of a fallen tree. I held the tiny thing in my hand and was surprised to see that it shone in the sun.
It looked as if there were fine copper threads woven within it. I looked more closely and was astonished to see that the tiny copper threads were not wire, but hair. A bird had made its nest from someone’s long red hair. The small bird had flown with this flowing red treasure in its beak and used it to make a shiny, soft home.
My dog has been doing a bit of nesting as well. Milo is supposed to stay in the yard, but it is a voluntary arrangement. My property covers several acres of woods and most of the time Milo’s sphere of influence covers only a few square yards. I check out the kitchen window to make sure he is behaving himself and he is invariably sleeping on the porch or patrolling the latest hide-out of the resident woodchuck. If I do not see him immediately, I call and he materializes from underneath the pick-up truck looking sleepy and stretching his long puppy legs that make him look like the awkward adolescent he is.
But then there are the secret forays I don’t know about.
One day a couple weeks ago, I looked out to see he had deposited a small, stuffed scarecrow in the middle of the yard. A few days later the scarecrow had been joined by a deflated football and several empty milk jugs. Yesterday I looked out the window and there was Milo, lying in the yard with a bright blue, sequin-covered swimming cap, twinkling in the spring sunshine. I have no idea where this treasure came from.
I am nesting too. This is my first spring back in my house after four years living overseas. I am greeting my neighbors, sitting with friends in the afternoon sun, and shopping for things to bring back to the nest. Last week I bought two apple trees to plant outside my house. Planting a tree is a tangible sign of belief in the future. Planting a tree says, “This is my home and I intend to stay.”
I had just finished planting my two apple trees when I looked out the kitchen window and saw there was only one apple tree standing.
I went outside and saw Milo. He was lying in a large hole where the apple tree had been. The apple tree was lying in the yard, and Milo had managed to remove most of the soft, wet dirt out of the hole. His white paws, white belly and white nose were covered in black mud. I stared at him, speechless, and he looked up at me with a delighted look on his face.
“Look what I did! I got that stick out of the way and made this nice hole even bigger!” He was so very proud of the comfortable place he had made for himself, it was hard to be angry with him.
Milo and I are both trying to make our nest the best we know how. We are building our home with the things we have at hand, digging in with an eye to the future. We are making a home with new trees and plants, with new friends and neighbors, with all the good things we find around us. We are gathering our treasures around us and making our home, shiny and soft.
Till next time,