When we lived in Massachusetts and I was taking courses towards my Ph.D., we were also struggling with infertility and with a series of failed infertility treatments. (I'll spare you the details!) Nobody knew about it but my parents, 2 of my siblings, and one very close friend. It was a very private matter for me and a very emotional matter. I had an excellent visiting teacher at the time--Christy--who came one month when the message was on motherhood. But instead of giving the message, she brought this poem and told me that she thought what I was doing at the time--going to school--was preparing me for the mothering that would come in my future. I've loved this poem ever since.
And I've been thinking about this poem a lot the past 6 months as my school demands have grown very large in proportion to what I feel I should be doing with my mothering as well. I've thought about it to remind myself that what I take on in addition to "Mom" can and should improve the nest that I am building here at home. I have been thinking about what I will do after the next couple of months when getting my Ph.D. will be a past tense project and how I can incorporate into my nest-building what I have learned and who I have become as a result of it. I do know now, with the blessing of hindsight, that Christy was absolutely right. The process of "reaching," of becoming "filled . . . from God's and man's very best" doesn't have to happen through a Ph.D. but however it does happen is crucial to my self-building and my nest-building.
"On Nest Building"
by Carol Lyn Pearson
Mud is not bad for nest building.
Mud and sticks
And a fallen feather or two will do
And require no reaching.
I could rest there, with my tiny ones,
Sound for the season, at least.
If I may fly awhile—
If I may cut through a sunset going out
And a rainbow coming back,
Color upon color sealed in my eyes—
If I may have the unboundaried skies
For my study,
Clouds, cities, rivers for my rooms—
If I may search the centuries
For melody and meaning—
If I may try for the sun—
I shall come back
Bearing such beauties
Gleaned from God’s and man’s very best.
I shall come filled.
Oh, the nest that I can build!