I am sitting here looking out the window with a glum expression and a bored mind when a little brown wren flutters into the bushes beneath me and plops his rotund body in the top leaves. He looks right at me and gives me his sharp chirp chirp, tweeeedle dee dee.
“What?” I say. “You keep coming back to me, but I can’t tell what it is you’re trying to say.”
He stares me down for a few more minutes, his tail perked up and his jeweled eyes glistening, then finally flies to a neighboring tree where I can’t see him. His same song keeps echoing in my ear.
I hadn’t seen him since before we decided to move, but it’s been a month now since we moved in with my parents and a few days ago he finally found me. My harbinger of hope in the face of the unknown. My literal bird by bird. (An Anne Lamott idea that you just have to attack a task one tiny step at a time)
The wren and I are here, nestless and full of angst, but we are still able to chirp and call out and make note of each other. Sometimes that’s all we really need. A small voice saying, “I am still here.”
We almost put an offer on a house this week. It seemed like just the right thing. The perfect area, where snowy owls nest, and old cherry trees grow. A coffee shop down the street, a favorite nursery a mile away, a view park around the corner, sweet brick tudors in every direction.
But that night I couldn’t sleep. I kept waking up with unrest and by morning my chest hurt. I felt no peace from Him. I cried and cried because I wanted it so much, but I knew God was saying no. Embarrassed, I cancelled our pre inspection. I went upstairs and told my dad amid tears and he said, “Oh I’m so glad, because I couldn’t sleep last night either and I was nervous to have to tell you I felt like God was telling me it was the wrong house for you.”
As soon as I followed that small voice, peace came over me. To give up what seems perfect, but that which is construed by my own workings and desires, is to step into a place of faith. I don’t know what is to come, but I feel as though I have been tested and come out the other side with new hope and assurance. I am ready to hold out for what He has for us.
The other day I found a robins nest at Beau’s parents’ house. It had three pretty blue eggs inside, one for each of my boys. I took heart.
We said goodbye for good to our tiny house yesterday. It closed at 9pm and I got to spend a few last hours with my bursting pink camellia tree. I sat on the window sill praying, just saying thanks and wow (Anne Lamott style) for a place that was so dear to us. And then praying for the house to come.
I have a hard time asking God for things. I don’t want to be greedy and I just want to be given things if it’s His will, and I’ll think…if it’s his will, why do I need to ask for it? But then this river of desire came over me, sitting on the sill under the pink filtered light from the camellia tree, dreaming and hoping for something as magical as what we’re giving up. I prayed for birds, and sweet upstairs bedrooms, and office space, and a fairy garden, and a sun room, and buttercups, and a place for the nook, and a round door.
If God wants to say no He can. But He knows now that no matter what He chooses to do, I’m willing to wait for Him.
And in the meantime I get to see the big purple magnolia blossoms reaching up to the sky, and the way the light touches the sea and murmurs over its depths in a new whisper each moment. I get to snuggle my children as they’ve suffered through the stomach flu this week. I get to put a pretty blue moth in a shadowbox and watch double daffodils bloom in a vase. I get to see a rainbow stretch far off into the clouds. Each bird by bird, like my little brown wren, keeps me inside a nest not made of twigs and moss, but of the warmth of my own heart. His heart.
I saw Yoda’s quote the other day, “Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.” Isn’t that so true? Or as Joni Mitchell says, “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Or John… “And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”