The Nesting Instinct

Blog 1050 – 07.11.2018

The Nesting Instinct

Not only do I think that we see ourselves in others but I think that we see ourselves as well in the instincts, habits, and behaviors of animals. “Birds of a feather, stick together.” The saying goes or “ That is for the birds.” But birds are nesters most all of them and so are we.

Much is said and written about a woman’s mothering and nesting instinct. But, the male of birds species often and human males too help to build the nest, to guard it and the babies, and to help feed and to teach those babies to fend for themselves and to encourage them to fly. Mama often in the bird kingdom does not have to go it alone. Sadly, too often, that is not equally true in the human kingdom. But many men have fathers’ hearts and want be good dads and even good mates.

One more term from birds and nesting – “ Feather your nest.” It comes from the last stage of nest building before the eggs are laid when mommy and daddy bird give up some of the soft downy feathers close to their hearts to make a super soft place for their progeny to hatch. Cool beans and we humans follow suit with mangers with soft hay and draped with swaddling clothes ( i.e. Baby Jesus) to expensively appointed nurseries only a Trump, a Gates, or a Buffet could afford. We do our best to build the best nest we can afford.

Alas, the nest in the picture is no longer needed, probably blown out of the tree by the wind, its purpose served. Soon all baby birds, and humans too out grow the nest and are gone. It behooves us not to make our babies our whole lives for as surely as grown up baby birds fly away from the nest and start their own independent lives, our children will too, and we should encourage them to fly. I had a wise supervisor at Mercedes Benz years ago, Bob Juergensen, who said he was getting both his daughter and son a set of luggage for their eighteenth birthdays – a not so subtle hint that it was time to fly out of the nest.

We celebrate graduations and this is a very important one. I leave you already or would be mommies and daddies with one last truism – when you love someone you have to let them go and if you do it right they just might fly back for a brief visit now and again. Happy nesting.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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