Before heading into the next entry of my love letter abecedarium, let’s pause for an important announcement. Today is the official day of notification of all prizes won through last month’s Grow Your Blog event. And so that means thanks to the magic of the random number generator choosing a winning commenter, the handmade journal I created is about to head off to its new owner.
And the lucky winner is… Beth Pollack. I’ll be in touch Beth and get the journal out to you. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a little comment love. Thank you – you’re loved and appreciated.
And now to return to our regular programming…
is for nests
My cousin told me last night that the birds were busy building nests in her neighborhood in Phoenix. Ah, such words are balm for my winter-weary heart which has come to believe Spring may refuse to show up this year. And so in celebration of such wonders, today I’m doing a little gathering of nest love.
I like this admonition from John Ruskin –
“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.”
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.
Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them by Sharon Bealsis a lovely book of photographs of amazing nests. 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.
I certainly wouldn’t mind having one of these Spirit Nest Creations by Jayson Fann.
And while not as elaborate as the Fann nests, I had an artist friend who did her own nest creations – from life size to tiny, and they were all quite magical. We indeed lost a magical spirit when Marilyn Dammann left us, but I love thinking she’s moved on to create even more delightful nests. This is one of my favorite photos of her she sent as part of a mailart call on nests many years ago.
Another place I like to poke around in is Lyand Lynn Haupt’s blog The Tangled Nest. While it hasn’t been updated in a couple of months, the archives are full of delights. She’s the author of Crow Planet and The Urban Bestiary, both books I like. I invite you to poke around the blog and see if something catches your eye, but I’ll head you over first to one of my fave pages because it has a lino-cut print of crows done by artist Dan Cautrell, and you know how I love my crows.
I love the art of Bridgette Guerzon Mills and own several of her encaustic pieces. But here is an example of an earlier work of hers entitled The Gatherer which is a self-portrait. And while it’s not a nest per se – it feels so much like the essence of what a nest is to me I wanted to share it here. The nest of oneself where you gather all that is you.
I’ve been thinking about that for a while – what it means to be a nest carrying around all of me. And I like that image.
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 this quote speaks to that:
“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.” ~Katherine Mansfield
And hard though it may be, I like imaging some of those fluttering bits on the fences provide just the treasure some bird is looking for.
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 most about bird nests, what about wasp nests and the like? Have a paper wasp nest you’d like to gift me? I’d be happy to take it off your hands. Ever see a hummingbird nest? Do tell – you know I love to hear.