This unusually hot summer is teaching me a new rhythm - early mornings, late nights, long indoor middays. The blinds are pulled during the bright hours making us feel quiet, heavy, slow. Only the living room has a little window air conditioner, one room in which to escape when heat wears away the nerves. At a 4th of July party yesterday, an older woman took my arm and said, "Don't even look at the forecast, honey. You'll only be sad." On the up side, this year I have hopes of homegrown tomatoes.
Our little chicken, Ginger, who is a matronly 7 years old, disappeared for several days last week. I thought the owl I'd been hearing in the woods lately must have caught her off guard some terrible afternoon while we were locked inside our cool, dark house. There was a little circle of her golden feathers in the grass one morning that made my heart sink. But she wasn't gone, she was alive and well, tending a twenty egg (!) nest deep in the vinca that surrounds the well house. We waited until she was distracted with a handful of oats and then we removed the eggs and liberated her. She went and had a long dust bath and is back to wandering the porch and yard, crowing like a substitute rooster.
There's something inspiring about her obliviousness. Who cares that she's past laying age and she has no rooster?
She made a nest anyway.
Reminds me of this from John Ruskin:
"Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure-houses of precious restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in."
There's no limit on what we can build for ourselves, the store houses in our minds we can fill with good and beautiful things, no age in which we are too late to create, share, grow.
In my nest just now:
- Grace Paley's advice to aspiring writers: The Value of Not Understanding Everything
- "French Holiday" on Spotify
- This thought from Stillmeadow Seasons: "One of my friends has planned her own education. She chooses every year one subject and reads all she can get on the subject. Instead of skipping around among the best-sellers, she is currently reading on China..."
- This from my facebook page, after a hard and humbling week: "I'm thinking today about words, about the way to be life-giving and safe in these social media spaces, but also unafraid to stand firm in our beliefs. Mostly what I'm thinking is that haste leads to emotional reaction rather than thoughtful contribution and social media has a way of encouraging impulsive comment and agreement or disagreement. I'm guilty of it. And almost every hasty word leads me away from the deep respect and love I want to have for people, and into the kind of dismissive cynicism that is common in our day."
Care to share what is filling your nest?