What needs sheltering in you?

Yesterday morning, my husband and I were about to prune the potted rosemary on the deck, partially dead after the cold snap this past winter. Then we saw the two little brown birds flying back and forth, perching on the edge of the planter, holding bits of bark in their beaks. Then one of them fluttered into a small hole in the moss growing along one side of the planter, a tiny little cave-tunnel we hadn’t even noticed. The birds were building a nest! (You can see it in the photo, just above the little sprout with four leaves.)

Now we saw how the dead rosemary branches served as a sort of thicket, protecting the vulnerable nest from the hawks and owls who also live on this land. We agreed the pruning would have to wait. Instead, we would offer shelter to these little birds and the nest they had excavated within the softness of the moss.

Sometimes the new life in our soul needs shelter too. A safe place to grow until it’s ready to spread its wings.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about sprucing up my office a bit. It started when I saw a friend’s Zoom background, a woodland scene of green upon green that made my heart feel very happy. I began thinking of ways I could bring some of that green beauty into my office too.

One day, I remembered that many years ago, I’d decorated my room with pretty garlands of artificial flowers and ivy. How I loved it! But I’d taken it all down when I moved, and never put it up again. Now I started pondering, what if I got some flower garlands to make my office more beautiful? But I worried people might think it was a little over the top. Too Renaissance Festival-ish, too fey, too fantastical. So, for days, I just let myself think about it quietly.

Then I came across a clearance sale online with the most gorgeous silk garlands—a spring one with delicate purple flowers, and a summer one with huge pink blossoms and orange lilies. I let myself click on “buy now” and awaited the package.Well, it came yesterday, and those silk flowers are gorgeous! I feel so happy looking at them and can’t wait to hang them up. If you Zoom with me any time soon, you’ll probably get to see them! I still feel a wee bit tender and protective of the part of my soul that craves this extravagant beauty, but I think it’s ready to come out into the world.

I hope you too will find a safe shelter, perhaps a little mossy nest in your heart, for all those parts of you that feel shy right now about being seen. And when you’re ready, may they fly free!

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