Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with leading you on a meandering tour of the virtual garden of delights and curiosities and thoughts that make up my world – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
N is for…
nidifice: a nest
Although I’ve been thinking quite a bit about nesting in terms of our own sequestering, it’s also Spring and my thoughts can’t help but turn to birds. I like imagining what birds might be thinking when they build their nests. And what delight they might feel when they stumble upon the most perfect bit of string, or a shiny bauble, or a flowering twig. Just like when I find a treasure for my nest. Life is full of surprises, and may they all be especially delightful!
I keep this mixed media collage piece by Marilyn Madden entitled Raven Nest on one of my apothecary chests where I keep my own treasures stored in the various drawers.
I’ve pulled out my copy of Nest: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them by photographer Sharon Bealsis. I can pore over it for hours marveling at the endless variety of beautifulness. If you get a chance to peek at a copy I think you’d be delighted as well.
Whenever I think of nests, I can’t help but think of Marilyn Dammann, an artist friend who crossed this veil a number of years ago. She was known for her nest creations – from life size to tiny, tiny things, and they were all quite magical. I feel the loss of her magical spirit deeply, but I love thinking she’s moved on to create even more delightful nests elsewhere. This is one of my favorite photos of her which she sent as part of a mailart call on nests many years ago.
Nests can be many things, but I especially like thinking of the nest of oneself where you gather all that is you. I’ve been pondering that a great deal – what it means to be a nest carrying around all of me.
But I also think about how life is never static and always moves on and how we need to navigate the changes. Just as birds eventually leave their nests and the cycle begins anew. But things aren’t always simple, and I like how the words of Katherine Mansfield speaks to that. She wrote:
“How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you – you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences – like rags and shreds of your very life.”
Hard though it may be, I like imaging some of those fluttering bits on the fences provide just the treasure someone is looking for.
And returning my thoughts to this time of global nesting, I think this admonition from John Ruskin, seems quite apt for these times:
“Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. None of us knows what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thought – proof against all adversity. Bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb, nor pain make gloomy, nor poverty take away from us.”
Now I’m passing the branch to you – have any nest stories to share? Do you like the image of being the nest of you? Have a favorite kind of nest? While I’ve been talking mostly about bird nests, I’m fascinated by other nests as well. Paper wasps create fabulous ones. Ever see a hummingbird nest? Do tell – you know I love to hear.