Monday, May 7, 2018

To Nest or Not To Nest



When we moved to our new home in Georgia a little over a year ago, I had plans. I was determined to root and to do all I could to help my girls to acclimate to the area. I foolishly believed we’d be in this house for a long time, maybe forever. My determination to feel settled turned into a mild obsession. I researched everything. I memorized streets, programs, and other aspects of the community. In time, I’ve come to understand I’d been mimicking the behavior of a mama bird. Wiring in my brain triggered me to make this place home in every way possible.

While attempting to ingrain in our new surroundings to the best of my abilities, I simultaneously found myself hesitating. And I never understood what was behind that hesitation . . . until now.

One year later and we’re headed to a new home. California here we come. I’m about to hit the restart button on all that acclimating and adapting.

I liken my experience here in Georgia to a bird I grew quickly fascinated by outside my office window last year. The mama bird captivated me as she gathered grass and fronds, creating a messy nest atop a column. I loved watching her work, and even captured a few photos. Mama bird proved a nice distraction from writing on more than one occasion. In hindsight, I’m glad I took the time to study this bird.

Because she’s me.

She fretted and swooped and tamped down twigs before they could fall, but they fell anyway. The mama bird never did lay eggs in the nest she spent hours to build. After I told my mom about the bird, she informed me some birds create fake nests to distract predators from the real ones. I wouldn’t say our current home is a fake nest, but I do see now how temporary this stop-over in Georgia was. I’d laugh at my crazy attempts to root and nest, if it weren’t so human—such a mom thing to do.

Building a safe place for my girls is my highest calling—teaching them resiliency through change, strength through opposition, bravery through trying times. The older I get, the more I’m beginning to grasp that a home doesn’t exist inside brick or stucco walls.

Home is the security that comes from trusting that you’re loved where you are—wherever that may be.

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