Nesting (No Blueprints Needed)


Photo (C) 2016 Jason Shadley

Sitting here sipping coffee, lost in the sights and sounds that are early-morning along the River Magothy. Even recording a bit today, so as not to lose all memory of this precious place.

The birds are nesting, and things can get a little crazy – aerial battles over the best branches and bits of baubles. Robins rebound across the grass, and for a split second I am reminded and almost tempted to return to golf. The number 411 comes to mind and I ask for clear guidance about whatever is significant for me to know right now. With the next worm-wrestling robin, it comes.

The birds of the air are cared for – they’re given everything they need. But their nests don’t come pre-assembled and wrapped in a bow at Crate & Barrel, or on red-light special in the gloriously expanding aisles of Wally-World.

No. The raw materials are provided. Every puzzle piece is there, everything needed for success, and then the fun begins, like a celestial game of Hide’n’Seek. Each twig must be gathered, each grass stalk secured, each daub of mud carried, beak-full by beak-full, until the whole is complete.

In the midst of all this doing, two geese skimming at tree level remind me, we can sometimes lose sight of the big picture, the home we’re creating for ourselves. Just like one can mistake the finger for the moon, one can also mistake the mud for the mansion. Maintaining that tree-top perspective can help this.

In the midst of all this doing, we can also sometimes forget the joy that can be our


Photo (C) 2016 Jason Shadley

companion as we journey, especially if we begin to fixate on any particular bug or worm or creepy crawly that gets under our skin or remains just out of our reach. Move on, the robin cries – there’s a fat, juicy worm with your name on it just waiting ‘round the corner. Don’t be late!

Singing, the little titmouse reassures me, can help me remember to keep my focus on the joy and lightness of being that comes when one is confident in being led.

Make no mistake, the dove coos, and from the fast-fading depths of the forest comes a good-night hoot of the owl – we are being led. Even if we can’t see it right now, deep in our minds, our hearts, our very blood and cells and tiny toenails, lies the knowledge, the key to our map.

Does the robin know what his nest will look like when he’s done? No, I think not. But he has a dream, and he knows this particular twig is just right for it. And so he builds, and in the end, a masterpiece.


Photo (C) 2016 Jason Shadley

What kind of a nest are you building right now? Rest easy – you don’t need to see the whole picture.

What’s that in your beak – a twig? Some grass? Maybe a nice juicy worm? Carry it joyfully, and if you’ve got a mouthful of mud at the moment, don’t fixate on that. After all, mud is important – it’s what holds some nests together. And besides, it’s good for skin tone.

Follow your instincts, each step of the way. Listen to your gut, even when it’s hungry, and get out of your own way. Drop that blueprint of someone else’s mansion you’ve been carrying in your mind, and begin assembling the one your Creator designed just for you.

You already know how to do it. And guess what – you’ve already been working on it for years, just like the bald eagle next door.  Your masterpiece is almost done, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Rest easy, friend. Clear skies ahead.


Photo (C) 2016 Jason Shadley


© 2013 Mary Batson, Front Porch Rambles. All Rights Reserved.

Written April 10, 2013, in Arnold, MD, on the western bank of the Mighty Magothy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s