A friend of mine who lives in the Washington, D. C. area is a newly minted snowbird. She recently returned to her D. C. home after he first 8 weeks away in the warmer climes of FL. She was relieved to find her home as she left it with one exception: her front porch light was out. When she went to change the bulb she was puzzled to find all kinds of straw poking out from the bottom of the opening.
She smiled and gently removed some of the straw, thinking that a small bird may have nested in the glass enclosure. But as she slowly tugged at the straw, she did not find a nest, but only a very tightly packed bundle of straw filling the lamp. As she put it, "those little rascals used this as a storehouse to keep their nest building straw dry!" It had been a very rainy period while she was gone, and she chuckled at the bird's resourcefulness.
It reminded me of a simple practice I've shared with both individuals and groups. It's a way to plan for a "rainy" day. You know those "rainy" days... when the blues sneak up on you, when nothing at all seems to go smoothly, or when you can't beat back sadness, worry, or loneliness? Look around the house and find yourself a "front porch light": that could be an old Mason jar, a glass bowl, or a glass pitcher. Cut a bunch of small paper strips and fold them in half: a pad of post it notes work great. Find a well-traveled place in your home: many folk leave on their kitchen counter. This is your nest for a rainy day. On the slips of paper, write down positive thoughts, prayers, inspirational quotes, good memories, a funny joke, affirmations, or even a person's name who warms your heart. Place these in the glass container. The container needs to be glass so that you can see how much straw you are saving for a rainy day to "feather your nest," and when it looks as like you'll need to replenish your supply.
On that rainy day, start a habit of going over to your affirmation bowl, and draw one or two slips from the jar. Take several minutes to read and reflect upon what slips you have been given for that moment.
Let the positive quote, image, or words of love and wisdom wash over you. So many have told me they experience the strong feeling that the slip drawn from the jar was exactly what they needed for that moment. If you remember to "feather your nest" with positive things for the glass jar, you will often be given just that moment of peace and grace that had eluded you on that day.
I've always loved the simplicity of this practice and marvel, even after many years, how your own efforts to build a storehouse of inspirational "straw" can contribute to building a strong nest which can weather many storms.