(This post was originally posted in the fall of 2010)
Been fiddling again. 'Cause that's what I do....change stuff up pretty constantly. Especially when I'm already over my head in projects and commitments. Like moving a daughter into her first apartment, painting and decorating every room--pictures forthcoming, btw. Anyway, do you like the blog makeover? I just couldn't get that beloved nest out of my mind. Other than being supremely beautiful and including all my favorite colors in nature (robin's egg blue, leaf green, soft pink, and pale natural), it represents so much of my decorating (and life) philosophy. I'm gonna get long and rambly now. Just a heads up.
I've maybe told you the story of this nest, but for the newbies, I'll tell it again 'cause who wants to bury themselves in my archives? (Not me, which is why there is no link back to a post with the story of this nest, if one even exists). In my previous cottage, Mama Robin thought she'd found the perfect place to build her forth-coming babies' nest. Unfortunately for her that place was a pot of gerber daisies I managed to kill off in a week's span and had placed just below my kitchen window on an old rickety shelf. Fortunately for us, we got front row seats for the coming show.
Poor Mama Robin made the daily choice to overcome her naturally skidish nature as she sat atop her precious blue treasures while Bogart the big, loud Black Dog came bounding out the door to bark at indiscriminate objects in the yard every few hours. Sometimes instinct took over and she would 'fly the coop', only to hop, hop, hop back to her nest as soon as she realized "oh, it's just that dopey dog again". She sometimes seemed a bit nervous when I'd run water in the sink or try to get a closer look at her beautiful feathers and deep black eyes....but in all she was a real trooper, risking unwanted gazes and bumbling beasts to protect her offspring.
When she was off her perch, we'd sneak out and take pictures of the stunningly vibrant turquoise eggs. I'm thankful the creator came up with this color, as it's my favoritest in the whole wide world....that's Benjamin (man, has that boy grown since I snapped this picture) doing some show and tell:
There were eventually 5 of these jewels, but after about three days, they just disappeared. No trace, and Mama Robin never came back. I was told a hawk prolly got 'em (boo hoo) because they were kinda out there in the open with nothing to protect them. It was like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom all over again (only those older than 40 would know what I'm talking about.)
Anyway, nature often provides me not only with decorating inspiration (snicker) but with life lessons that sorta knock me off my stride. And Mama Robin and her nest have been one of the most profound for me. Let me 'splain....
A random mother bird, one of millions upon millions, just doing what she does by instinct, created one of the world's most beautiful things....not just those sublime blue eggs, but a home for them: cobbling a nest together made of what she could find, shaping it into a perfectly imperfect dwelling that mere humans in all our wisdom and knowledge still bow to in admiration and awe. And she built it by herself, mind you.
How often do we nest builders sell ourselves short in our efforts to make our houses homes as we daily read the blogs of others, comparing and seemingly falling short of some iconic standard of 'beautiful'. Pretty sure Mama Robin just does her thang each spring, even though millions upon millions of other mother robins are doing their thangs too, not comparing her nest to all those others. It's all about her own nesting instincts.
I think we'd all be much more content with our homes (and lives) if we could just get in touch with our guts. Instead of copying everyone else, then scrutinizing every little thing until we go cross-eyed, THEN getting depressed because our homes (and lives) somehow don't measure up to the chick with a blog of thousands of followers. Maybe I'm just talking to myself, here, but methinks I'm preachin' to the choir. As fun as blog stalking can be, we need to learn to trust our own individual instincts. I constantly remind myself that it's fine to reap knowledge about design and DIY projects, but not-so-fine to spiral into the depths of 'not good enough' when meandering thru the tangled web of shelter blogs.
So, in light of this, I returned to my Robin's Nest header. It represents best what 'cottage instincts: creating my style' means and what I hope my blog accomplishes....encouraging fellow Robins to follow their own instincts and recognize the unique beauty they create as they saunter thru the rhythm of their daily lives. Cobbling together our nests, we can glean inspiration and motivation from other nesters, then allow ourselves the freedom to follow our instincts, knowing we've created a sacred thing. Something worthy of respect and awe because it comes from deep within ourselves.
Remember, in the natural world, each robin's nest is different, but we all know a nest when we see one, yeah? Whether it's made of primitive sticks and downy feathers, or shards of styrofoam, plastic straws and random pieces of garbage, how those materials are knit together is a unique expression of one bird's instincts. We're amazed by both...the rustic beauty of the one, the ingenuity of the other. Both are worthy of the divine task of cradling precious cargo.
I hope I can model for you what trusting your instincts looks like via this blog. I'm learning as I go, processing what worked, what didn't, and why (like the previous pink rose blog theme or the dining room makeover), then moving on to apply what new bits of experience I gathered to my next creative pursuit. Decorating, like life, is a series of tries. Fails and successes will both play major roles, but the trying is the stuff of life..... Keep trying to follow your instincts. Be respectful of the creativity within you, honor it, and let it express itself in your family's nest without shame. Make Mama Robin proud.
ps...I linked up at Melissa's Inspired by party since obviously Mama Robin inspired so much about this blog.