Build a better nest

There is a Robin mama who built her nest against the cable wire, in the crevice where it attaches to our house. Yesterday,  her little nest was kept dry in the storm, under the overhang of our roof. But today, sliding the screen door back and in pursuit of the rain smell, I saw her nest; fallen to the porch, one half straddling the railing, twig bits and straw like a piñata of broken dreams.

She had no eggs in it, but do you think she would have mourned them, if she did? Do animals mourn their young, in reality? Sometimes I think Ella would, if that reality would have still be in question, given that we got her spayed. She looks at me with such eager eyes, waiting adamantly for eye contact, that it makes you wonder what that kind of sorrow would look like, splayed across those eyes. I’m glad I never have to see it.

But I walked out a little further, and into the grace. Sitting on a limestone rock, she saw me from the fence, tuft of grass and dirt clods sandwiched firmly in her beak. She had mud on her front feathers, and was startled to see me. Nonetheless, she climbed into a crevice she had found in the bush above the compost bin, and began to build another nest.

There are vines covering this bush that used to hold flowers, but hopefully they will serve as better protection from the storm, far better than that overhang. The bush is firmly planted, and supported by our back fence. She will have leaves to defray the rain, and ample earth and sticks at her disposal, slightly closer than the place she had built near the automatic porch light. I hope she will be more safe here.

It’s supposed to rain again today. It’s just that time of year. Atleast the soil will be soft, so that the Robins can find food. I’m glad she has found a safer home.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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