Every year these little birds come build a nest on top of the same post of my front porch. Grey and small, fast fliers, they flit about constantly collecting insects or scraps to bolster their home. I think they’re barn wrens, but who am I to know?
I’m no animal expert; not a framer though I own land; couldn’t tell you the difference between an elm and a poplar. These birds are probably considered nuisances, but in their world, I’m guessing we are too.
This is why, while sitting on my porch this cool June morning, I am writing this.
See, a great reason to have a house is to have a front porch, and a beautiful thing to do is to sit on it. There’s a social aspect to it, even if you’re alone, that goes back far beyond my years, to days of no air conditioning and water buckets with dippers where neighbors shared the coolness of their wells.
It goes back to before Andy picking Aunt Bea and Oppie a tune on his Martin. Back before a Robert Earl Keen wrote about it. Back before…
It is my home, my porch, my community. Sitting near the wren’s best, very much in the spirit of Andy and Keen, I strummed, sang a little, appreciated the greenness and tranquility of my land.
But then, I notice the wrens (there are two of them who take turns on the nest) nervously flying towards the porch then banking steeply away upon the site of the giant songbird perched far too close for comfort to THEIR home. Their myriad sorties are frantic, frightened runs stopped short by an invading enemy. Me.
Yeah, this is my home…sure. My porch. My tranquility. But there are a lot of places to sit, a lot of places to be tranquil. But there is only one nest.