Saturday, March 17, 2012

Empty Nest and Tea Blends

All winter, I was thinking about making home made tea blends to give as gifts, but it took me until spring to actually complete the task. They were meant to be my cozy winter gifts but now they are, I suppose, my welcome spring gifts. And since I've been packaging them up, it seems I've become all the more aware of the gifts of spring itself.

No matter what mood I may be in, I do hope to be enchanted by one thing on this planet, each and every day. This doesn't necessarily happen naturally. You'd think that daily practice would eventually make this habit. But no, each day when I wake up, I need to remind myself to open my eyes; to open my heart; to expect a surprise. If I don't remind myself quickly enough and the day of obligation unfolds, worry or anxiety or both tend to work their way into a tangled mess. And then it becomes all the more challenging to unravel my thoughts.

I have a little story. Earlier this week, while out walking with a friend, I took note of two tell tale signs of spring. We have a wonderful custom in our city that if you discover a lost hat or mitt or glove on the ground, you put it up high in a tree branch where it can be easily spotted by the person who has lost it. In spring, people tend to lose their hats and mitts more often, probably because the weather is so changeable and we're constantly putting on or taking off our wintry layers.

First I spotted a blue mitt in a tree. Moments later, we came across a tiny little nest, at eye level, in a hedge. The hedge, of course, had no leaves and so the two-inch round nest was quite exposed. There were no eggs in it, so we supposed that the mother bird had moved on to build a new nest in hopefully a safer, less visible location.

The next day I found myself thinking about the nest and so entranced was I that I decided on my way to work, to pop by and see if the nest was still there. And this time, I brought my camera. First, I took a picture of the mitt in the tree, but when I went to snap a picture of the nest, my batteries died. Not having time to rush home to get new batteries, I instead headed off to work. That was on Wednesday. All day I thought about the nest and that evening, I went back to take a picture of it. But by then, the nest had disappeared. Gone. Nowhere to be found nearby. Today, which just happens to be a Saturday, I once again headed down the same street, only this time with a different friend. As we walked, we occasionally kept our eyes to the ground to avoid puddles of melting snow. I suddenly found myself pointing to the ground, saying “There's my nest!” It was, unquestionably, the same nest. Without a moment's hesitation my friend picked it up and offered it to me. I opened my purse and pulled out a little cloth bag and we placed the nest in the bag. All this fuss over an abandoned nest!

Of course later on in the day, it all became clear to me. This is, after all, the first spring without any of my children home. They've all flown away. I continue to make little nests here and there in the form of tea blends and hand-written letters. They're not practical nests and they never really amount to much. But it makes me feel good to make them all the same. And I was able to photograph the little nest, after all!


  1. Your tea blends sound like wonderful gifts to give, Eleanor. Yes spring is here! Today is such a beautiful day. I have quite a number of abandoned nests that I have found or friends have given me. I love them so much! Your children may have flown away but they will always return to the wonderful cozy nest you have made of your home!

  2. What a lovely thing to write. I think those of us who are bird lovers also tend to be people who feel drawn to nests; collecting nests and finding nests and making nests.

  3. You tea blends are so sweet, and your nest story was wonderful. Thank you. You are a gift.

    1. It is so lovely for me to hear from people. Thank you for being who you are and for reading my little stories I send out into the world.

  4. All your photos are lovely! Today I am especially drawn towards
    the blue mitt in the tree and the nest...and the red umbrella in the tree...and the photos of the film crew...and, and, and!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and thoughts with us.
    I appreciate how your writing is both gentle and powerful