The Fellow Nester

I have words today. Some days your head feels like it is brimful of words, like potent potion stewing in a cauldron, and on others, it is not unlike that stagnant body of water, still and smelly, flies buzzing, to complete the picture of listlessness. As a writer, you feel the relief of the former washing over you so gently, as the caress of your mother’s touch when you were young. What am I to do with these words? Possibly, let them float out of my head and onto this dormant blog of mine. In the hope of letting you know that I am around. Yes, still. Hanging on by a thread (to this blog of mine). And yet, hang on I shall. It is too beloved to be let go of just so.

It is a coolish breezy noon, even though the last couple of days, it’s been stewing hot. It stormed all of last evening, the trees swaying and dancing like dervishes, and the temperature dropped. It is a neat 18 degrees, and boy, am I digging it sat outside on my porch, listening to the singsong of the birds, and staring at the spectacle that the nodding green trees make against the cerulean of the skies, blotchy with clouds.

There is a touch of wistfulness here. Beneath our screened porch, in the rafters, an American robin’s built her nest. She had three young ones in it. Adi had been noticing her passage over days. Every time he stepped out, she would shoot out from beneath the porch, and straight into the woods. He went and examined the space beneath the porch — and sure enough spotted the nest that she had built with expert care. I too went and took a look. It is a cleverly built nest. You cannot look in from the outside.

I named mother robin, Mrs. T. I have been feeling her eyes on me. She is always watching. One day, I sat on the egg chair, swinging and enjoying the soft spring air. With her chest, rust red and thrust out, she stealthily hopped across the lawn, staring up at me all the while. She stood there for five whole minutes. On watching her closely, I realised she had a fat worm dangling from her yellow beak. She was wary of making her way to the nest. I spoke to her for a while. And I stayed still. In a heartbeat, she had flown into the nest. And then, I heard the faint chittering of the fledglings. Every now and then, I kept an eye on them by peeping through the slats of the porch floor. And found their tiny selves huddled in together, their maws opening wide every time with hunger. As they gained girth in weeks, they started staring up with beady eyes when I spoke to them. Today, I squinted my eyes and peeped through the slats, as has become my nosy little habit, only to find the nest empty. What a curiously empty feeling it is.

Yet outside the robin continues to sings. She is still around. And as she trills on, hopping around, and scattering the leaves noisily on the floor of the woods, I think of Shelley’s ode to the skylark that he espied upon during an evening walk and feel the beauty of his verse keenly:

“Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest …”

Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

28 thoughts on “The Fellow Nester

  1. The weather is not what you ought to be worrying about this year, Arundhati! Nor is it the birds!
    But the prizes of electrical energy as well as diesel/gasoline costs. Businesses will fail miserably this year and food prices will rise to astronimic levels if you are able to get it at all! We have only seen a faint beginning of what is to come, I am afraid. Bankrupcies will rise to record numbers all over the world!
    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but at least it won’t be a surprise! Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had a similar experience but with hummingbirds in our yard. The nest was so tiny, it could fit in an egg cup! I loved seeing the tiny chicks grow up through the close up of binoculars and was so sad when they flew away. They survive and we survive. That is life and that is all that I will say. Wonderful thoughtful post! – Neek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya lovely, I have missing our little exchanges. Your words add to my post and uplift it. “They survive and we survive.” How profound that thought is. Thank you for making me smile. How have you been? xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for saying that! I have missed our little exchanges as well. Lex has an Uncle that always says that the only thing that we can be sure in life is change ( I thought it was death and taxes but… ). I hope that you and Adi are doing well and I might add that your watercolor of the sweet bird is very well done! I love it! We’re fine and living our lives. – Neek

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Death and taxes. Hah! As surely as change. The uncle makes a good point. Thank you for the compliments on the painting. All my animals are plump , way more podgy than they should be. Adi always complains.

        You guys make the most of this summer — hope to keep in touch more frequently. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The hummingbird nesting at yours must have been a delight to watch. Reaffirms one’s faith in the beauty of the simplest things in life. I would love to see a hummingbird nest. As it happens, we have had a hummingbird visiting, but each time I happen to miss its presence. Adi catches its fleeting visits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they are amazing creatures! It was the first nest that we had ever seen and were overjoyed to see the eggs turn into hatchings. Hope they come back again! – Neek

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, as far as I know, I’m still reasonably alive!? But, you know, they do not issue guarantees to people my age! My cancer has been dead for the last 10 years, but even so I have not a clue as to what might spring tomorrow? One day at a time, contemplating what to do tomorrow, but that is it! 🙂


  4. Arundhati……..

    Lovely write up. Why are the gaps so long? Keep writing. There is magic in your words.

    Lots love


    Jayant Varma

    0124 4140478
    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah thank goodness for your post today! I’ve seen searching for your blog since this morning. You see, I’ve decided to resume reading and writing a bit in WordPress again and I knew I had to look for yours. I realised it’s got a new name – your name! Yay! Anyway, I’m just glad to be back reading your wonderfully written blogs again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Amor! How lovely to hear from you after aeons. Well, isn’t it a wonderful feeling to get back to blogging? Thank you for looking me up. I changed it a while ago and have barely blogged since. Looking forward to hitting up your space too. How have you been? x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Supposedly mid-June for England you know, but now targeting the first week of July for England (Wimbledon – here we go again with our tennis obsession hahah) but my passport may not be out yet. It’s amazing you know, everyone here in Singapore is itching to go on a holiday abroad, that first time in history, there’s actually a backlog in passport processing. If not this August, September in London for the Rod Laver Cup (in O2). I just feel that I’m destined to visit UK this year hahah, how about you, A?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good luck with your UK trip! How exciting to be at Wimbledon… If you feel it in your bones, then it’s gotta be it. We are off to Sardinia and Tuscany in a few weekends. My heart’s pumping hard at the thought. As you said, it has been too long. xx


  6. Hello Ma’amji. I finished Ramblers. It’s nice. And good writing . You may not realize it but it really is a love book. For Adi… 🙏🏻
    I hope both of you are well.
    Phir milenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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