And just like that, my garage magically transformed into a carport.
All due to a wren. A Carolina wren who took the painstaking time to carry dried leaf after dried leaf, with a few spare twigs as well, to create a lovely nest on a high, secure shelf … inside the garage … where she promptly deposited a single mottled white egg.
Her journey wasn’t long or arduous; the leaves were right there in the garage, conveniently located in a nice swept pile that I hadn’t taken the time to collect and bag up. The twigs were probably there, too.
Yes, those are leaves from last year, and not a single one from a tree located on my property. Leaves that still plague my sock-covered feet when I walk back to retrieve some forgotten item from my car. Leaves that still rustle and crunch each time I drive out or in.
I discovered this early one morning as I slipped out on an errand. A small bird was stirring near some leaves on a shelf by the window and quickly swooped down toward the floor. I got out of the car and looked for the bird, thinking it was still inside, but I suspect it was long gone out the now-open garage door. Just to be sure, I left the garage door up so it could escape. When I returned a scant 10 minutes later, I glanced up at all those leaves piled high on that shelf. Finally fortified with caffeine, my brain clicked and the puzzle pieces fell together. I pulled out the ladder, climbed up to the top step, peered into the leaves and discovered it wasn’t a pile of leaves that had somehow been swept up in a fit of wind to come to rest on the shelf up high. No, it was more like a fully furnished home, carefully built. And already furnished with that solitary egg. A day later, there were two.
Thus, I no longer had my garage. Just a carport for the time being. I began locking up my house entry and leaving the larger doors open. Convenient, wasn’t it, that the leasing of my garage occurred in the time of COVID, when I’m teleworking every day and limiting activities requiring me to drive?
Oh, sure, I could open my garage door and leave it so, to allow mama free access and care of her children-to-be. I got used to that idea.
A little bit later I found myself putting- a little food – mealworms – in a container near the nest so mama could fuel her belly and ease the hunger of foraging not only for herself but, her hungry babes. And who was I kidding, it morphed into hunting insects for mama to feed the wee one because, yes, I googled what wrens feed their young. A second container, with water, appeared beside the food.
I’ve been thinking about my spring birds. COVID-19 may hold the world in an uncertain time, and with all of our reasoning abilities, we still worry. But nature simply moves forward, doing what’s natural and right. How much better it might be, then, for me to think less about feeling confined to my own nest than to think of what a blessing that I have a safe place to nest, to venture out as needed, to care for someone other than myself, and to take a little time to sing.