A few days ago, in reaching up to pull down some low hanging dead branches of a backyard tree, this marvelous thing came with them (click it for the bigger picture):

Camouflaged, I hadn’t known it existed just above my head — and by the looks of it probably for a long time, too. It also looks like it hadn’t been used in a while. It is about eight inches in diameter. It is beautifully constructed.

Careful I was in parting it from the boughs that held it for however long. And I set it upon the patio table, where I showed it to Susan. I’ve marveled at it several times since. And wondered how many chicks might have successfully flown from it  over however many years it had been in service.

I brought it in today to photograph it, and I’ve decided to keep it on my desk for the time being. For inspiration. I find myself of late questioning myself  across a pretty broad spectrum. It can be disheartening. I am trying to accomplish things, but frankly haven’t. Thus there a lot of things I’m doubting right now. But one thing I can safely — and without regret or recrimination — say that I could never do is build such a masterpiece using just my feet and my mouth.

The birds who built this had none of those doubts. They just did it. Because no one told them they couldn’t. Especially themselves.