Monday, August 21, 2006

Bird's nest

Treasures can be found in the most unexpected places. Though a bird's nest is typically found in a tree, I don't always look for them in small trees and fairly low to the ground. But one day last week while visiting my mom at the nursing center, I was distracted from my visiting when I glimpsed a cluster of twigs in the lower branches of a tree that was only, at it's highest, ten feet. It didn't take long to determine that it was unoccupied; a film of webbing floated over top of the nest like its own private tule fog shroud. As I moved in to take pictures, I took care not to disturb the nest. Doves return year after year to the same nest. Five years of observing dove nesting in my own backyard has taught me that any change to a favorite nesting place can send the birds in search of a new home.

I'm a nester. I hate change. In a perfect world I would have been born in, grown up, and remained in one place. My perfect world would have had me travelling everywhere but always having that same, safe harbor to return to. As I approach retirement, I ask myself where and when I will find that perfect world. I'm still looking for it because my real life has been a series of moves - state to state, town to town, home to home, school to school, and job to job. My life has been more or less stable for the past 18 years, but the children have now graduated, they are making their own lives and planning their future families. And I find myself thinking forward to the time when I, with Don, can finally find that perfect place, a place where mountains meet the sea.


But there is a shroud over my life; an inhibitor which may keep me from making that final move until eventually it may feel too late. And that is when I see another nest, this one perched on an exposed windowsill of an old rock building. Is that me hovering on the brink? Will I find my way to fly from the aridity of this valley? Will I find that place where mountain meets sea, the water for me the mountains for Don?

For a while, it was money that concerned me. It is the eternal question. Will I have enough? Will the debt be diminished and manageable by retirement? But lately I've been thinking more about time. Will there be enough time to finally get to that perfect world? Watching my mother's slow declines tells me that anything can happen to me or to Don at any time. Our lives could change with a swiftness that gives me wiplash just thinking about it.


So, I don't touch the nest and I stand poised on the brink. If that perfect world is out there waiting for us, we will find it and when the times comes I will leap for it and not worry about money, time, or imagined ties to this place I find myself in now.





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10 comments:

Janet said...

You must be able to read my mind! I have always longed for stability and a place to plant my roots deep into a place. That has not been my life so far. We are also looking to retirement and wondering where we want to live. It seems a tough question as my wants and HB's wants are somewhat different. How to make them mesh and satisfy both of us is what we're trying to find.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Beautiful coming together with your thoughts and dreams. The nest and the bird is in us all, Aren't they two powerful symbols? You have placed them side by side, in a descriptive way sharing your feelings...Can the bird spread her wings and keep the nest?
The warm feather fluff nest, and the feathers that cover a heart wanting to fly. Isn't is beautiful that life calls us to search?

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Beautiful coming together with your thoughts and dreams. The nest and the bird is in us all, Aren't they two powerful symbols? You have placed them side by side, in a descriptive way sharing your feelings...Can the bird spread her wings and keep the nest?
The warm feather fluff nest, and the feathers that cover a heart wanting to fly. Isn't is beautiful that life calls us to search?

Star said...

This same "everything is temporary" concept has been hitting me hard lately. It deepens the desire to make the most of each day, each moment, for we just don't know what changes will impact us in big and small ways.

And as usual, I can only read Corey's comments and wish that I had her way with words.

paris parfait said...

Well, sweetie, I'm sure when the moment arrives, you will fly! And you'll create a new nest, wherever your heart desires. Lovely post - we all feel that pull between travel and home comforts. After 9 days away, I was very happy to get home to my little nest late this afternoon. Will catch up w/ your other posts soon. xo

Autrice DelDrago said...

Beautifully written!

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? ... Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:24-26, 32)

Becca said...

Oh, Annie, I know those feelings so well. So many parts of me are poised to fly, yet I'm standing here on the edge of my nest (one I've been very well entrenched in for 30 years!) waiting for just the right moment...when I have enough money, when my parents no longer need me, when I'm ready to leave my jobs and start something new. You expressed this yearning so beautifully. I can envision all of us on that ledge, perched, and ready to spread our wings and soar!


BTW, I like the new look :)

Maryellen said...

I found your blog via my cousin's site Moon Stars and Paper (VicciAnn). What you wrote is very moving and yet a snapshot of the reality that is life and the reality that always to go live the adventure that is life.

Beth said...

What a wonderful post Annie. I also worry about what we will be able to do when we retire,,and it feels like so far away. I hope you find your sea and Don's mountains. Take care Awesome Annie!

Daisy Lupin said...

I think where we want to spend the rest of our days is always a worry. My husband had a heart attack at 50 and then has bad nerve trouble in his left arm due to it being broken three times in his life, meaning he often drops things so he took early retirement. We are happy in our country cottage but we know eventually our dream is to live by the sea, he was born by the sea in the north of England and feels landlocked where we are. We would both love to live in Cornwall, but for now I have my aged mother, to go and take care of and being an only child there is only me to do it. I know exactly the feelings you give voice to in your post. One day let us hope our dreams can come true.