Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Wren and the Bumblebee

One of my favorite memories of Grandma's home is the song of the house wren. She always had a nest box tacked to the clothesline pole, and each spring the house wrens would return, singing their delightful songs.

The first year I moved into my house a wren nested in the clay pot bird house I had made. I watched their comings and goings from my kitchen window, as I had hung the pot on the front porch directly in front of it. It was wonderfully healing, helping me feel close to my Grandma who had passed the year before.

I haven't seen any wrens at my house since then. Last year a chickadee family claimed the clay pot home and successfully fledged their young. I left the pot hanging over the winter without removing the old nest, thinking I would get around to it in the spring.

A couple of days ago I heard a wren. My heart was filled with joy! I ran out back where the pot was now hanging and quickly took it down so as to clean out the old nest.  I disassembled the pot and took off the bottom tray, only to find a large Bumblebee buzzing out of the nest! I placed the nest on the ground as the disoriented Bumblebee flew around. My mind only on the wren, I took the bird house to the hose and cleaned it out spic and span. I quickly reassembled the clay pieces and hung it on the front porch. I waited.

The Bumblebee didn't leave. I watched as it flew around the back door, obviously searching for its home. She didn't give up.  Finally, the Bumblebee flew closer to the ground and found her nest. She disappeared under the fluffy ball.


I went to the front porch where I had hung the clay pot bird house, which was now a Bumblebee house.  I took it down and walked back to the Bumblebee nest. Was she still there? She was not at all happy with what I had done, in fact she had me trapped in the garage for a good ten minutes. My nose pressed to the glass, I watched as she tried to get in to the garage through the clear window pane, obviously wanting to give me a taste of her mighty stinger. I couldn't blame her.

I cautiously approached the nest. No Bumblebee. I quickly put the nest back on the clay dish, inverted the pot to cover it, put a cork in the opening (just in case she was still there) and screwed the whole thing back together.  As I walked into the backyard to rehang the pot from the patio roof behind the garage, I saw the Bumblebee flying around the spot where her nest used to be.  I took a deep breath and spoke to her gently. "I am sorry Bumblebee. I did not know this was your nest. I have put it all back together so let me hang it back up and you can have you nice, cozy home back. Just hold on for a few seconds, OK? No stingy me, OK?"  She backed up and let me hang her nest.  As soon as it was up she flew inside. Home sweet home.

Later that day I was watching the news and saw a clip of Governor Chris Christy proudly smashing a Spider that had crawled onto a table in classroom he was visiting. The children cheered. Tears welled up in my eyes for that Spider, who was doing nothing more than walking through its home. Tears also formed for the children, whose hearts were already hardened to the sacredness of life - on that day the life of the smallest creature.

How can we be so different? It is no wonder we are killing this planet when we have taught our children to revel in the death of one so small.