It’s Sunday morning. Spring is coming. I’m sitting on a couch, in a house, with the front door open so I can see outside. Three little tiny birds just flew into the dead leaves, and selected straw and dog hair, a mixture like tweed.

There was a day some time ago, before I lived here, that I did the same — sat in a window, watching birds build. Those little bodies, filling their mouths, flying off to make their safe space. One of the smallest in the group, a real badass little bird, collected so much I was in awe. Then he raised his wings and lifted himself into the air. Moments later, I watched the wood chips and feathers float back down. He had dropped it all.

I imagined myself in the same scenario. I knew how I would react. I would begin to hyperventilate — to flap my wings with the wasted intensity of anger, to curse, to blame, to self-hate. I would spend so much time and energy on the lost effort. I would probably forgo building for the rest of that day, in order to mend myself and prepare for the next round. I’d talk to my bird friends about how my inadequacies and greed had contributed to the failure. Then I’d pray, and sleep.

Though I was immersed in my head, my eyes stayed fixed on the tree in front of me. And much to my shock, the bird I’d turned myself into immediately descended again, filled his bird mouth full for a second time, and flew off.


Nic has been coming and going all morning. Vacuuming cars, outfitting a shower, putting up pictures. I have been doing things, too. Cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, the stairs. We have been putting time and effort into a house, so that it suits us, so that it’s safe.

He’s a good bird. I’m a good bird. 

And together we have built ourselves a beautiful, unexpected little nest.


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