Happy Solstice (week)! Summer is my favorite season so I'm grateful to be here today – I am grateful to be connecting with you today.
A few hours ago my eyes moved above my laptop screen. Huge windows sit between my desk and the outer world. Two tiny birds caught my eye. They were sitting on a branch of the conifer, a home to many beings. So fluffy and tiny, they started cleaning themselves and then cleaning each other. Another one nibbled nearby on insects hiding in the tree's needles.
Seeing them tucked in as close as they could next to one another, tending to their bodies and each other's bodies... oh, how essential these acts of kindness and service are to ourselves and one another.
I texted one of my landladies. Maybe she knew who these birds were. The name she gave me didn't match what I was seeing.
I came back to the research later, finally the Google search "tiny gray bird that flocks" led me to the bird's name! 🪶American bushtit 🪶
Bushtits behave in really cool ways, and of course, they look adorable while doing it all because of their tiny size.
One thing I find awesome about them is that they practice cooperative breeding, which means "helpers-at-the-nest" (non-breeders) help the parents in caring for the young.
They all sleep together in the same remarkable hanging nest made out of spider webs, feathers, fur, and plant material. I bet there is loads of Ernest fur in every single nest within a 10 mile radius of our home.
If you want a little something more, I came upon Carol Riddell writing about the Bushtit.
Nature touchstones in virtual spaces
A few months ago I joined Flow Club. It's virtual co-working. They offer a month free when you first join and during that month I signed up for as many sessions as I could, seeing how much it was positively impacting my work flow.
Lately I've been using my Flow Club sessions to focus on the content/curriculum writing that I do for Primer. I am the writer for their Naturalists Club and so, naturally, write about animals and plants and other natural wonders!
During the first five minutes of a Flow Club session, the host invites each person to share about the tasks they'll be focusing on. Each person also has a handy visible textbox for keeping track of your tasks. (When you check something off confetti explodes on your screen!). The host plays music for the work flow and then everyone comes back together during the last five minutes to check back in. Super simple and I love it.
Anywho, the reason I am bringing up Flow Club is that lately, whenever I get into the details of what I'm writing about, there is at least one person who lights up and says a little something about how sweet it is to hear about whatever nature topic I'm focusing on.
We're all obviously meeting virtually and so we're all (stuck at) our screens.
Perhaps sometimes, there's someone out there who desires a touchstone back to the natural world, back to our nature. Perhaps this sharing about the Bushtit can offer that to you right now.
If you sign up through that link, I also get a free month, which is a nice bonus. Just want to make sure I'm clear about what stake I have in this – though, to be clear, definitely try it if it'd be helpful for you and if not, I'm certain you have your own work supports that work fabulously for you!
I frankly want us to all work with ease and joy, with whatever tools we need to use. If you do try it out, let me know how it flows for you!
As of 06/24/22, I have nine invites available through this link.
Offering another touchstone
At the end of the trailer of my podcast (ha, yeah, I do have a podcast!) I say, "Our first episode drops next month, June, 2021. So by subscribing, you can join in right away."
A few days ago, I released the first episode!
I'm right on time with the release month! Just off by a year.
(Trying to be more like this 🤗 and less like this about the experience.)
Not that other people need it from me, but I enjoy giving others permission to be on their own personal right timing... it's time I give that permission to myself as well.
I turned on the voice memo app as Ernest and I hung out by a creek we visit often. I share about courage as a muscle, half birthdays, stuck-ness, and energy patterns.
The episode is an experiment. And releasing it was also an experiment!
I hope you enjoy what I share. As always, I love hearing what resonates with you.
Listen on your preferred podcast player or read the full transcript!
I hope you enjoy welcoming summer – or winter – into your daily rhythms. Ernest has been encouraging me to hang out on our porch in the evenings as the sun sets and it's really nice.
Til next time,