Updated: Apr 19
While I am away for a week long 'nesting in nature' in the Brecon Beacons I thought I would schedule a story that has been emerging in my day to day.
A few weeks ago, the guy who owns one of the woods I utilise for coaching (Malcom) told me about a crow that has started frequenting the woods. Malcom informed me that the crow had been sitting on his shoulder while he was planting some of the new trees and had also been pinching things as well.
This was very exciting for me. As a child, one of my best friends frequently nursed injured birds that kids from the local school had bought to her mum. There was Bumper the pigeon, who lived there quite a while before going back to the wild and a Magpie, whose name I forget but would comfortably sit on our arm or shoulder while we were out in the garden and sometimes nibble at our hair. I’m that lady who stops and talks to a robin on my walks. So, the prospect of connecting with a bird again in this way was very exciting.
I had hoped that ‘Mr Croy’ (as he has now been named by myself) might appear at one of our coaching sessions and inspire clients as much as I had been inside by this human-willing birds as a child, but nothing as yet.
I was thinking about this bird-related nostalgia and daydreaming about ‘Mr Croy’ turning up and I genuinely thought to myself “I would love to have a ‘bird-friend’ again”. I know there are clear divides between ourselves and the natural world for a reason. But those moments of connection are a little bit special, you’ll know what I mean if you have experienced them yourself. So, I set these thoughts as a clear intention.
Setting a clear intention for me, is something other people might call “manifesting”. Those of you interested in science might know this in the quantum physics world of enabling your “atoms” of energy to vibrate out in the world and connect with other “atoms” elsewhere. Others of you might know this -when things happen- as ‘weird coincidence’, ‘freaky’ or perhaps spirituality or even “utter nonsense”. All are valid perspectives, after all.
An intention for me is that I fully trust that its possible in the world and for me, that these things could happen – sometimes I focus in on the how. Other times I just allow the how to emerge.
A few weeks later, I had heard a little scrabbling in the bathroom. It’s worth explaining that I have been renovating my house for a few years now and the bathroom is one of the last rooms to begin. Various electrical and central heating work has taken place in there, and this has left a few gaps in vents and drilled holes that then got plugged until they will be plastered in the future.
I could hear this scratching was coming from one of the semi-plugged but fairly large holes. Closed off from the inside but from the outside, possibly feasible for something to get into. I didn’t think too much of it, until a few days later when I get a text from my partner Sean. “Please close the bathroom door, I suspect a bird is nesting in the cavity and I would prefer for it not to be in the house when we get back”.
Ah yes, Crumpet (Yes, I named her too)– our resident Starling. Had made her way right through the wall cavity and has now made a very nice cosy nest for her future babies behind our bathroom fan.
This has led to an ‘interesting debate’. What are the boundaries between nature and us? Whose home is this?
There were some concerns about Crumpet residing in her new abode. Though I was delighted, I recognised there was potential implications to her nest being close to the fan (now switched off) or getting stuck in the wall cavity. Needless to say. We were not planning on disrupting a nest and so nature has well and truly taken root for now.
I had to ‘fess up’ that I may have invited said “ bird friend” in with my intentions., this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened and these days just gets a smile and a momentary eye-role of partial-acceptance. So, for now we will fully embrace our latest resident while she brings more life into this world.
When her nest is done and dusted. We will offer a free upgrade for next time, with a new nesting box.
But the whole conversation took my deep into the thought of “edges” and how often we take for granted these blurred edges between the natural habitat and ourselves. We take ourselves in to nature. But maybe – too often, we assert ourselves in natural space. There is little negotiation between us and the natural world.
In our minds is it ourselves who have priority?
When crumpet used her edge and shacked up in her home. I had to start asking myself questions around co-existing together.
Life is so valuable. And she may be a mere starling, but her and I are part of something much bigger.
Crumpet has prompted me to check in a little more often with myself.
Where and how am I making my mark, and finding my space in the natural world?
Is this alongside and part of nature or do I just expect that I am always welcome?
What about your personal boundaries and those of others? Are you having open, collaborative communication or making assumptions?
So, some of the ways we can stop breaching our boundaries of respect with the natural world.
Take our litter home.
Avoid trampling plants or disrupting habitats like fallen trees.
Leave wild spaces in our lawns
·Get curious about the bigger life-story and impact of our food, or material purchases.
Give back to nature through volunteering, planting, giving to charitable conservation causes.
Bird food in your garden or at your office.
Bug Hotels to male space for the small or diverse stuff too.
Guiding clients to respect and nurture our outdoor coaching spaces together with the wider habitat.
So, I will be careful not to set my intentions on elephants or buffalo.
And I continue to learn and reflect on the way in which I am part of nature too.
Sneak peak picture of crumpets abode below
And video (on discovery of crumpet) with my "Major-Bird-Momma--excited-voice" NB only crumpet's nesting materials got near the fan in this video.
Have you got a nature connection story?
We would love for you to share it in the comments below, on our social or email it to us at email@example.com
Title Nest Picture - Luke Brugger - Unsplash
Picture and Video - JK McCreight