And we’re learning to let her have her way with us.
A year ago, I bought a new front-door wreath to celebrate spring. It’s full of twigs and fake spring flowers and moss. When I hung it, within hours every time I opened the door a bird flew off, nearly taking the top of my head (or at least my hair).
Twice that happened and I knew enough to take the wreath down. Sure, our alcove and the wreath are great protection for small birds during a storm, but hey, it’s our front door.
This spring, forgetting last year’s experience, I put the wreath up and sure enough, within hours two birds begin exploring the wreath. Don’t they know it’s fake? Plus, it isn’t stormy out, or even too cold. The sun’s out, ferheaven’s sake.
But because of the way the sunlight gleams through the front-door curtain from the inside, my guy and I watch the two birds land on the wreath and explore it. Peck at it. Decide they love it.
And then, we get it. They’re building a nest.
“Better take it down before they get too far in their project,” I say.
My guy is silent.
“Right?” I ask.
“I think we should let them build their nest and raise a family,” he replies more poetically than this engineer usually ever speaks.
So, the wreath stays. We lock the front door, and every time we go outside, we open the garage door.
Like voyeurs, from the inside of our curtained window we watch the two birds –purple finches – industriously build their nest. Then, disappointingly, no activity. “They decided they don’t like the location,” my guy sighs.
But the next day, we notice one of the birds sitting on top of the wreath. No, she’s sitting on their newly built nest. The next few days she sits for a while, and then visits our bird feeder, across the front lawn hanging on a tall tree. My guy used to fill that feeder every few days. Now, he fills it every morning.
Have we become “those people”? Bird watchers?
Yes, we decide with glee. Because birds teach us so much. Solidarity, Persistence, Teambuilding, Loyalty, Dedication. Patience. Even parenting. Plus, as Cynthia Lewis put it so succinctly:
“You’ll have a lot more respect for a bird after you try making a nest.”
Miss Muffet (as my guy calls her) sits on that nest constantly now. We gingery fill the large planter box near the front door and attach a sign with a warning:
And I think we’re doing that in a way, too – nesting in our “empty nest” of a home, encouraging a young’un to begin her own family.
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs
In what way are you rewarded, simply?