Perhaps there’s nothing quite as strong as vulnerability.
When the last of the leaves had fallen from the trees this autumn, I began noticing nests. Presumably abandoned by birds heading south, these snug little homes stayed behind, nestled in the branches. They’d been there all along, all around us, secret and safe and remarkably strong. There is something about seeing them now that feels very special to me–sometimes even exciting, like they’re hidden jewels who’ve decided to make their location known to me. “Look!” I tell my boys, “our bird friends lived right here all summer!” (If anyone deeply understands such excitements, it is children…)
There’s also something so beautiful about how exposed and vulnerable the nests are… As fall ends and Christmas approaches now, many of the nests have fallen apart in blustery winds, or under the soggy weight of snow. Some will likely hang on and, with some repair, even become homes again when springtime scatters tufts of new leaves across the trees. But most will crumble, quickly or slowly, and fall back to the earth. I wish I could be more like them. Hanging, unafraid, in such plain day, wasting no time building up armor or indulging defensiveness. Wasting no time in worry. No time in resentment or confusion about the cycle of which they are a part.
Namaste, my little bird homes. I keep your image in mind, as a reminder of a radical way to live.