I have a pair of Phoebes nesting right outside my office window. They were here last year and have now returned to build another home for their babies. I’ve noticed in the last several days that instead of carrying grass for nest building, they now carry insects to feed their new arrivals. I wonder if my close proximity to their nests make the phoebes nervous, or if they are just getting used to me.
I am sure that whenever we are in appreciation of nature, there is an exchange. When we hug and draw strength from a tree, I think the tree must feel the energy in some way. Traditionally, Native Americans ask permission before they cut down a tree or kill a wild animal for food. That’s a perfect example of a sacred exchange between people and the nature that surrounds them.
A friend sent me a poem by Mary Oliver called “The Gift,” that speaks to a dynamic interchange with nature. Here it is for your enjoyment:
I wanted to thank the mockingbird for the vigor of his song.
Every day he sang from the rim of the field, while I picked blueberries or just idled in the sun.
Every day he came fluttering by to show me, and why not, the white blossoms in his wings.
So one day I went there with a machine, and played some songs of Mahler.
The mockingbird stopped singing, he came close and seemed to listen.
Now when I go down to the field, a little Mahler splits
through the sputters of his song.
How happy I am, lounging in the light, listening as the music floats by!
And I give thanks also for my mind, that thought of giving a gift.
And mostly I’m grateful that I take this world so seriously.