There is something about my fire escape that beckons city wildlife.
Over the last 6 months I have dismantled 3 pigeon nests, in various stages of completion.
I am usually not one to put creatures out of their homes. In fact, when they are in mine, upstate, I carry them outside (the one notable exception being the snake…I still regret ending its life).
And, although it’s true that modern cities have fostered perfect environments for pigeons (or rock doves, as they are also called), it is also unsanitary for us humans to live in proximity to these birds. Having read about pigeon mites, not to mention the droppings, it was clear they had to go.
So, now that I have made an overly long attempt to expiate my guilt….
Over the course of a weekend away, a new nest appeared. Fully furnished, so to speak, with twigs, and leaves. Leaves? Do pigeons use leaves?
No. Squirrels do.
This I learned as I watched the nest’s builder return, more leaves in mouth, to look, over and over again, at the spot, that I had just swept clean, where his nest should have been.
Over and over, the squirrel came back.
Up and down the fire escape.
Back to the nesting site. Over and over.
I am grateful, that, today, after my lay-off on Wednesday, I am not “revisiting” the office, over and over.
I feel gone – physically, mentally, emotionally.
Gone, and not in a resentful way.
This feels like grace to me.
And it is due, in part, to the sense that it was inevitable. I had lived with this possibility for months. And, too, it is no small thing not to have to panic about finances and scurry about for immediate re-employment.
Of course, I miss my colleagues. They are bright and hard-working and dear to me. We will stay in contact. But I am “gone” in that I am not trying, in any way, to recreate what is clearly over. To rethink what I could have done differently. To recapture some lost identity.
Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to slow down. I am willing to surrender to the situation. I pray to remain open in the face of uncertainty.
And, I see, that today, all my needs are met.