Today, as I was playing fetch with my dog in the yard, I noticed a small nest on the almost green grass. There are a few large trees with branches that overstretch the yard, almost as if they’re reaching for something, and I have seen the birds year after year, selecting those branches for their homes.
The good news is, the nest was empty. No baby birds, no eggs, clearly the inhabitants evacuated quickly before their ship was tossed off its wave of comfort and plummetted to the ground below. As I investigated the neatly woven twigs my dog, for once oblivious to the center of my attention, ignored it.
It was hard to tell if the owners had been gone for awhile, or simply bailed when the rain, wind, or perhaps a pesky squirrel knocked their home from its perch. In any event, it was alone now, a place for refuge, for birth, for nurturing, abandoned and left for scavengers on the grass. As I contemplated the debris, my mind warped back to my childhood, when I had a nest of my own.
When I was very small, probably no more than four or five-years-old, my mother, newly single, would lay on the couch and create a ‘nest’ for me. On her side, with legs together and bent, I was the perfect size to throw a blanket into the space between her legs and the back of the sofa and make my own nest. Obsessed with Big Bird (he’s still my favorite), I wanted my own nest, like the one he would sleep in on the show. My mother’s legs, the sofa back, and my ‘woobie’ (yes, we called it that) created my own nest.
To be clear, I would beg my mother to lay that way so I could nap in ‘my nest’ almost daily. Thankfully, she either loved napping herself or figured out a way to read or do whatever else she wanted while in that position. Music blaring from her vinyl records (Carol King and Stevie Wonder were standouts I recall loving), I remember the feeling, being so small you could fit into such a place comfortably, and feeling safe.
Which brought me right back to the abandoned nest before my feet. I hope those birds and their offspring, felt secure, protected in their abode before it was shaken free. I hope they experienced, even for a few fleeting moments, some comfort and peace in the nest they so carefully created.