My mother-in-law has a wreath on her front door that has become an bird’s nest. New life begins in the most unexpected places. As assumed premiers of consciousness, we humans are obligated to care for life in its beginnings and accountable to life that will continue on long after we are gone.

There is a fragility to life. The same day we discovered the birds, wandering dogs, potentially abandoned, took a tour of the grounds and found human friends in our church administrator Millisa and our volunteer Audrey. The dogs got water; Millisa and Audrey fretted over their well-being, the bony big dog who needed food.

And the love continued….Millisa, worried for the baby birds who were nested low to the ground, had pink ribbon marking off the area so that the thrashers might thrive and not be disturbed. Yesterday I saw only two babies and wondered about the black snakes that might have taken one of the three. Of the remaining two, one birdlet had ventured a few paces from the nest, perching in the jasmine with her mouth open for nourishment. The other was on the ground at the base of the bush, it’s beak pushed out in defiance with a ridiculously cute puff of baby-feathers on her head. And all the while the mother came and went, bring food and swooping away any foes.

The web of nature is so vast that we as stewards of it truly have little control of the egg-eating crows or birdlet-munching blacksnakes. We do, however, have control of our own behaviors. I can choose to protect life and see myself as only a small bit of a larger, wondrous system. It’s not about me. And yet, I am one speck of all creation who is entirely worthy of love and care- as all specks are.

This leads me to always wonder, why must I drive a car that spews carbon into the atmosphere? Why must use so many electronics? Why must I use styrofoam and plastic grocery bags? Why do I kill cockroaches and ants? When will the guilt end and the right-living begin?

So I ask hope to nest in my heart, to remind me of the right-living I already do. And, on occasion, I require a gentle nudge towards revelation of what still yearns for wholeness. And so my guilt and frustration is incubated in the shell of compassion and grace. And a vision of gratitude and responsible action is hatched.