Monday, September 5, 2011

Gift of the Storm

I am in awe of its perfection, the fact it was made by a being weighing a few ounces, with no hands, tools or a floor plan. I keep going into the dining room to look at it and marvel.

Devastating, tempestuous, the tattered remnants of hurricane Irene swept through the Maritimes last weekend. In contrast to downed trees, snapped off branches, blackouts and floods, the storm left us an unexpected gift. A piece of beauty and fragility among the debris.

It may have blown out of the large maple tree on our front lawn, or it may have survived a longer journey. Opening the front door Tuesday morning, there on the step was this perfect example of the art of nest building.

If you’ve read earlier entries in this journal you will know how much admiration I have for our feathered friends, large falcons and eagles, tiny chickadees and sparrows. Their resilience in today’s not-always friendly environment, their parenting abilities, the care they give to their young, their natural super instinct.
Here is yet another proof of that intelligence.  Only four inches in diameter it is so intricately and robustly woven, lined with scraps of grass cutting and embellished with a few fine leaves and twigs.  Imagine the love and care, the hopes with which it was built. From every angle it reveals its tender construction.

Once the chicks fledged it must have stayed in its tree, perhaps waiting for next year’s clutch, until a strong wind blew it our way. It’s not easy to determine what type of bird created this. I’m trying to find out from some local ornithologists and will add a note later if I know.
Meanwhile its beauty is ours to enjoy.  I bought a small white saucer at the Salvation Army store and this small miracle sits on a side table guarded now by a stone bird.

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