Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I think little brown Carolina Wrens are one of my favorite birds. I love how they are so litttle and round, and always seem so alert. I have another story for another day, about how a little Carolina wren came to see me once, at a sad time in my life....but thats for another time.

I was getting ready for work the other morning, and was happily watching through the French doors in my bedroom, two little wrens outside flitting around on my deck. When the time came to leave for work, as I was locking up, I noticed the two little wrens flitting around my grill and actually going in and out of the small vent hole in the hood of the grill. I thought perhaps they might be hungry, or could smell the grill, so perhaps they were looking for something to eat. I decided, since I was out of bird feed, that I would take some dried bread crumbs out to them and leave it on a small paper plate right outside the grill. As I started to place the plate of crumbs down below the grill, I noticed some "stuff" sticking out of the vent hole on the hood. I lifted the hood, and it was apparent that the little wrens were in the throes of building a nest. Since I was on my way to work, there wasn't time to do anything about it, so I just closed the hood of the grill and left.

When I got home that evening, the first thing I did was go out to the grill to have a look. When I lifted the hood, there was a completed, beautiful work of art. The nest was huge, and full. Funnel shaped with a little burrow way down deep into the nest. It was incredible how the the leaves, twigs, moss, even pine straw from my garden, were created in a perfectly circular design. Indeed it was a thing of beauty. And the wrens had done all that work in one day. When I left the house that morning they were just getting started and had merely a small handful of nest materials inside the grill.

I was so upset. I knew that we would have to move the nest because we are avid users of our grill. There was just no way to leave it there. I was so sad, imagining how distressing it must have been for the little wrens to have us open the hood, leave it open and later move the nest. My husband, in an act of kindness, attempted to make a surrogate house out of a box that I had saved from my new blender. He took two big sticks and a shovel and picked up the bird nest, so as not to touch it with his hands, and sat it on the white chair you see in the picture. Having cut a small hole in the box, the same size as the hole in the grill hood the birds were using, he sat the box down over the nest. All in the hopes that the little wrens might see it and figure it out. But they haven't been back. I feel so badly, disturbing their plans, wrecking the home they had readied, I'm sure for mama bird to get ready for babies. I keep hoping they will return to the box we made for them. But I'm sure they have made another nest, hopefully one that is bigger and better, somewhere else.

But the box and nest still sit there, hoping someone else will take advantage of it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!

I love May Day! Its the promise that spring is here, the sun has warmed the earth, that God has awakened us, new and fresh, from the cold dark days of winter. May Day, it feels like revival!

I love the May Day tradition of leaving baskets of flowers on the door steps of those you love. I remember when I was just a little girl, my mom would help my sisters and I fix up little May Day baskets for our neighbors and family members. Sometimes they would be tiny little straw baskets that my mom or grandmother had picked up from somewhere, other times I can remember making the little baskets from construction paper. We would line the baskets with fresh grass, picked by little hands right out of our back yard. Then we would add fresh picked flowers, whatever was in bloom, from my mom and grandmother's garden. My maternal grandmother always lived with us, and she was an incredible gardener. I remember rows of rose bushes, full, fragrant, and colorful. I remember iris, and day lillies, and dahlia. And my daddy's azalea bushes, full of pink and white blooms in spring. But as a child, what I loved best were the tiny little wild violets that grew at the bottom of our backyard, under the shade of the big oaks. I thought those were the most beautiful little flowers. My sisters and I would play down there for hours, imagining ourselves as princesses, or orphans who lived in the woods with all the friendly animals (our ducks and cats and dogs played that part well).

Yes, May Day meant summer was just around the corner, the flowers were in bloom, and soon we would be swimming in our neighbor's small lake. And, May Day meant sharing that joy with neighbors and loved ones, in the form of sharing beauty. Celebrate!

My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
This is what I long to hear from the One who loves me.