After a torrential rainstorm recently, I find this tiny birds’ nest on the ground under a pine tree. It is so perfectly formed & fragile I have to scoop it up. When I do, I’m enamoured with its delicate weavings – such artistry! Moss & grasses have been purposefully threaded to form the base structure. But mostly I’m surprised by the sturdy composition – a miscellany of hair: dog, horse, human, are tightly woven & layered so that the inner section feels like a thick, soft, comfortable, felted bowl. Definitely not something that would disintegrate in bad weather – this nest has survived hammering rainstorms and a fall from a great height, in-tact. I survey this creation with a deep feeling of respect because I couldn’t make a shelter from natural gatherings that would keep me safe for more than two nights, nevermind something that would hold for a season. And these are the moments I’m called to stop & think about my place in the world; about how I am just one being who should have no more rights to land or water or air than any other creature inhabiting these spaces. I lack even the basic skills to work with nature in order to find & create what I need to survive, instead relying on a system that degrades & devours & destroys. Who is the more intelligent creature here? But it does feel that there is an understanding rising in us like a tidalwave, slow but relentless, that we can no longer treat the natural world as if she were there simply to facilitate our existence; that whatever we do it will be returned & our children will pay the price, or reap the reward, of our endeavours; that the earth was here long before we arrived & she’ll be here long after we’re gone. I dream that we will re-learn to re-cultivate a deep respect & love for the land beneath our feet, that we will remember we are caretakers, and that all these creatures we share the world with are nothing less than our extended family.