Feathering The Community Nest:

Yesterday, I found myself staring out of a third-story window, watching happily as a soft rainfall dampened the ground below. I had shoved the screen as far open as it would allow and was taking deep breaths of the cool, green air. A sudden flutter of blue caught my eye and I at once recognized it as one of the Blue Jays I’ve been casually keeping track of since the onset of Spring. It’s mate was not far off, perched carefully a few branches behind, chirping quietly (as opposed to it’s usual, more aggressive tone).  It was then that I discovered that between the two sat a new nest, carefully constructed and up until now, hidden from sight. With a shake of it’s wings, the one bird flew off, as the other settled it’self comfortably into it’s cozy new home.

I inched closer to the window, cursing the screen for placing so many tiny squares before my eyes. I assumed it was the mother guarding the nest and wondered how many, if any, little eggs sat beneath her soft breast. I sat cross-legged, the attic window perfectly aligned with the tree top, wondering whether the Jay knew I was there? I couldn’t help but think that she looked rather satisfied, her head just peeking above the rim of the nest, eyes bright and alert. As I watched, waiting for the second to return, I got to thinking about how a nest represents the ideal conditions of both a home and a community.

I’ve always been somewhat amazed by the construction of bird nests. Delighted by the thought of tiny beaks weaving in bits of string, hair, and other soft stuffing- scavenged and sought out. I marveled at how self-sufficient these creatures were. To source all of their own materials right from the yard or neighborhood which they had so carefully selective to live in. Without a single cost for their chosen resources, those which others would never notice the absence of. Imagine if we, as humans, still practiced building our homes with only the supplies that grew natural to our surroundings. If we could rely wholly on the ground that surrounded us? 

I also couldn’t help but think of what a nest stood for in terms of safety, security, and protection. Even exposed to the elements, they boasted the ability to support and nurture the tiny eggs and hatch-lings potentially living within. Food sources available close-by without the need to ship over country or import from overseas. Perhaps, I mused, we need to look to the birds to recognize what is most important to our quality of life.  A supportive and protective community with available, self-sustaining resources. Surely our families and children deserve a life as simple and as seemingly carefree as these birds?

It takes much more for us as humans to create the ideal type of community, which proves healthy and fair for all. In taking a lesson from the Jays, I will remember to look to my local surroundings to provide for me. I will search out the glittering, the bright, and the strong to weave into my work. To build this Fruit Share nest with the potential to  help protect and to support those who need it most. The more nests we build, the stronger our network will become. Please join our mission at www.fruitshare.ca and help Fruit Share soar! 

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