After the great garage clean out of 2016 where we claimed our space again and removed junk and old memories My Chef has been actively using his tools. Painting, plumbing, sawing, installing light fixtures, all tasks I had waited for years to have completed. Our home was neglected, it is now getting attention. These dark days of uncertainty and fear are at least producing results in our immediate environment. I watch him sinking lower, lower and suggest a project, remind him of a task and he gets going. He is missing the chattering singing giggling of our Plum especially, that child who raises the joy index with his very presence. The task of finding our own joy now rests with us, our homework, while Plum goes off to school and learns how to contain some of his. I am a natural joy seeker, my Chef not so much. Which is why I think the bird chose our garage, deep in the corner but low enough for us to see, to build her nest.
Our property is graced with trees, beautiful arching limbs providing shade in the summer and delightful piles in the fall. Our neighbors have the same. I love our trees, I love our property with space to roam and plant, listen to roosters crow, watch chickens waddle on the hill a few doors down. Horses fill our pasture in the back. All this is to say a bird in its right mind would never choose our garage as the safe place for a nest. Not a quick decision either, considering all the trips in and out, gathering sticks and fluff, maybe some dog hair, arranging everything just so. And then waiting, laying those 5 gorgeous eggs, waiting. We discovered the nest at this stage. White with tiny blue speckles, 5 eggs left just long enough for mama to get some dinner. Now they have hatched into tiny little sweethearts who open their mouths at me whenever I dare approach. Which is more often than I should probably but I have cats also. Cats who go into the garage. We have to keep the door open for mama bird but that allows access for two hunters, a bit of nature I am not willing to allow on my watch.
Protecting this nest that never should be in our garage, peeking in to see this amazing new life, this is joy. This is hope in the middle of chaos. God sent this bird who surely complained about the location, explaining about cats and garage doors, pointing with a ruffled wing to all the more suitable sites, this bird who then chirped a bit and then got on with the business of building. God promised this bird that if she built this nest, He would send protectors for her young. God promised this bird that her job was bigger than just bringing babies into the world. Her mission was hope. Her mission was joy. God knew we needed a nest we couldn’t miss, we needed joy and hope and light in the darkness that would require our energy. God is smart like that.
We cleaned out our garage, sent our boy off to school, worked on the house, waited in the quiet. Then a chirping song echoed in our garage, leading us to God and a reminder of promises, a reminder to follow his lead even in the most ridiculous situations. It just might lead to hope.