AN OVERVIEW OF NESTS
Everybody builds a nest. Mothers build up nests of extra Band-Aids, Children’s Tylenol, portable cameras, stashed presents for upcoming holidays, photo albums, a clock with easily-readable long & short hands & big numbers, new hole-less socks, & silver dollars to sneak under pillows.
Some build nests of name-brands, the steam of an iron,
and a usually unkind magic mirror to determine if they are the fairest in the land. Like the birds, our nest corresponds to our environment. The mom builds safety, magic, & structure for her child. The executive builds acceptance, success, and the pursuit of happiness.
The bird builds a place to bring food, a place of shelter, & a place for her chicks’ humble & hardy hatching.
Our cockatoo, Beaks, is obsessed with nesting.
She shreds cardboard, paper, & the rubber soles of shoes. She never laid fertilized eggs. When she laid sterile eggs, they were eventually removed from her cage. The poor thing has been obsessed with nesting ever since… for the last 11 years.
The nests of humans, unlike that of birds, don’t just respond to the environment. They’re also built of the hanging hanks of Hope, the gray fuzz of Fears, dangling dazzle of Dreams, gathered scraps of Plans, & the golden chains spun only by Joy. And one hopes that all these bits are held sturdy by the gossamer, unbreakable thread of Wisdom.
Knitters respond to their environment, & to their hopes, dreams, plans, joys, fears, & wisdom. And, they also, simply, live in actual nests of yarn… which could otherwise be called mountains, heaps, piles, tripping hazards, or fire hazards. But, they are our nests. We are happy here.
No matter what yarn we are physically knitting with, we are spinning those chains of gold within the larger nest that is our lives.
I have a nest.
And my husband still loves me.
My daughter doesn’t notice it, because it is simply a different type of furniture… and what kid notices furniture?
My cat waits for it to move.
Waddling short strides of stubby black legs attached to a bulbous yellow tummy click-click-click-click past my pile… my pile of feathery plumes of alpaca yarn, my pile of thick & thin hanks, skeins and balls, new & old, kinked & straight. Past a lifetime’s-worth of highly desirable designer nesting material.
Most knitters have heard the jokes “You know you’re an obsessive knitter when…” I’ve been listening to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee‘s (a.k.a. Yarn Harlot’s) audio book, At Knit’s End, which has quite a few of these hilarious observations.
You know you’re an obsessive knitter when… your nesting-obsessed cockatoo has so completely acclimated to having a pile of Grade-A, nest-perfect yarn, that it is no longer impressive, & she waddles past it, in favor of chewing up the carpet.