Nature is a teacher

Published 8:10 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Nature is a teacher. I have learned this from my observation of plants and produce. It is evident to me that the plant and animal kingdom as well as wildlife have much to teach us about living.

Some weeks ago, I sat at my kitchen table and watched as a bird made several trips passing my window, coming and going with twigs in its beak. The bird was building a nest in our pergola. It was just a matter of time before the twigs formed a nice nest snuggly outfitted between two cross-beams of wood erected above our koi fish pond. I was amazed how quickly the bird had done this.

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When my husband arrived from work, my children and I shared with him how the bird had made a home in the pergola. My wise husband quickly responded to the news by heading outside to remove the newly formed nest from our pergola. Although we did not want to see him do it, he explained that because it was situated so closely to the back door of our home, it could be a danger to us. Birds are very protective of their nests when eggs are present. We understood his explanation and watched as he dislodged the bird’s new home from the pergola.

The next day, we were shocked to find that the bird had actually replaced the nest in the exact place. This time, we were not home to watch this take place. Again, I was amazed because this bird had clearly made up its mind that this is where the nest would be, and my husband was not going to change its mind on where the new family of birds would live.

It seemed that my husband had met his match. He removed four nests in the span of 72 hours. It astonished me that the bird finally gave in to my husband and let go of the mission to become our new neighbors.

There are many lessons I took away from this bird’s actions. Certainly, we met a very persistent bird who knew what she wanted. She fought tirelessly despite the opposition to her choice. Her persistence is impressive. But I think I was more inspired by the nesting process itself, or rather, her awareness that it is time to build a nest.

During pregnancy, they say that as a woman gets closer to delivering her baby, she starts “nesting.” This means that she starts preparing her home for the arrival of her new blessing. It is often described as an intense need to deep-clean and organize. With my first child, I anxiously awaited for this sensation to come over me. I remember several veteran mothers asking me if I had started “nesting.” But the sensation did not quite happen for me like I expected. I thought I would just awaken one day and have this great energy to clean my home from top to bottom. But that is not how it happened for me.

I remember that my view of the things around me changed. I did not receive this great power to clean. I developed an intolerance for disorder and untidiness. Although I was very fatigued in those last weeks of pregnancy, I felt compelled to arrange, wipe down and throw away things nearly every day for about a week. I persisted until things were as I wanted them to be in preparation for my baby girl.

In life, whether we are mothers or fathers, men or women, we should recognize when a nesting period is taking place in our lives The nesting period is when you become aware that it is time to build a nest, to prepare a place for the next offspring to grow, and you get to work.

We need to be like my would-be neighbor bird. Set your mind on the activity and build the nest. Even if you have to start over a few times, build the nest. Make room for the blessing. Let your faith in what is to come be evident by your preparations for it before the blessing arrives.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.