Birds Nest Soup

It was a pretty day today, though none of us really wanted to see more snow. It fell steadily through the night to daybreak–fine, barely visible crystals that cover the landscape with a white blanket when you’re not looking. A typical end-of-February snow. It’s rather hypnotic. The trees surrounding the property have become a greyscape again, their usual winter green once more a muted non-color, desaturated by the thin layer of snow.

Not far from my window is an ornamental crabapple tree. It’s branches are barren now, of course, except for a tiny bird’s nest that still clings to fragile fork in a branch. How tenacious its hold, this lump of mud and sticks! How stubbornly it has clung to this meager branch through rain, nor’easters and raging blizzards.

It’s a good analogy for writing. A bit like life, in fact. You start with lumps of mud, and a few sticks for interest, and mold them all together into something you can “live in”. You rearrange, tidy and repair. And when self doubt and the chronically moronic assault your progress like a northeast wind, you cling to your tenuous branch and hang on for dear life, refusing to be shaken from the tree.

Eventually, the wind subsides and you rearrange, tidy and repair once more and then get on with it. Perhaps, as a reminder, I’ll rescue that vacated nest and keep it on my book shelves.

[photo (c) grendelkhan – Flickr]


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

9 thoughts on “Birds Nest Soup”

  1. Nancy, what a great analogy. This sentence is just perfect:

    “And when self doubt and the chronically moronic assault your progress like a northeast wind, you cling to your tenuous branch and hang on for dear life, refusing to be shaken from the tree.”

    I’m bookmarking this.

  2. Hi, Nancy, thanks for visiting my blog today. I’m reciprocating, and glad for it. A writer! Yay! And kindred spirit. Yes, the garden is a school, no doubt.
    (And dare I say? I bet you will love my book…)

  3. Thank you all for your lovely visits! I savor each and every one of your comments.

    Kathryn, I’m off to check out your book!

  4. and it’s just something one does. Build, hang on, re-build and hang on!

    And, I think, we’re all getting about ready for Spring. ;-)

  5. I was just talking to someone yesterday about how beautiful bird nests are. The ones near my garden are nearly always lined with black fur FROM MY DOG!

  6. your analogy is so true Nancy. That’s why my original blog was called Sand to Glass because, for writing, we begin as grains of sand and with the heat of determination and hard work, we develop into smooth beautiful glass. I love that you’ve made such a lovely connection with that nest. I have a robin’s nest in our back yard that I’ve been looking in on for the past 2 1/2 years — despite two winters now, it continues to retain its shape and hasn’t been blown from the branch. Unfortunately the lovely Robin who made the nest and hatched herself 3 darling babes, lost her brood to the darn magpies.


  7. I love the phrase “Birds Nest Soup”! Reminds me of Stone Soup, where something great and nourishing was concocted from nothing with the power of a little imagination and collective spirit!

    Wonderful images and beauty here. I think I stumbled across your site from Peter Donegan’s, who’s world I also visit for its grace and beauty.

    Will be back again soon!

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