She had selected an unusual place to lay her eggs. It was hard to understand until later. This duck, a drab brown one, with a tuft of down decorating the top of her head, laid completely flat to keep her eggs warm and safe. Then I knew she had chosen the right place — the place where her coloring blended perfectly with her surroundings.
“I’ll bet everyone who walks past here misses this sight,” I whispered as I stopped to look at her. I also stopped just to make sure she was still alive. She laid so perfectly still, it made me wonder every time I passed by.
At first, all I saw is what looked like a stick attached to a rock. But, what I really saw was a beak attached to a feathered and down-covered mother duck. And, upon more careful inspection, I saw much more.
The outer ring of her nest was a simple mix of dried grasses and down. It was the first time I really understood the old term, “feathering your nest.” And, it made me wonder, can a nest, a home, be simple, inexpensive, and yet, luxurious at the same time? The mother duck answered the question with a huge yes.
We’re regular ducks, you and I. We don’t “live large” with private jets, beach-front mansions, and unlimited money. Yet, we can feather our nests just like the mother duck living on the edge of my street. Here are some ideas to contemplate in this regard.
It’s all in your view. I once received a pair of trousers as a gift. I thought they were too small. They were, in fact, but when I went to the store to exchange them, a tall, thin, young man approached and asked if he could help.
“These pants are too small, so I need to exchange them,” I said.
“No sir! They are not too small,” he replied with a smile.
Before I could respond, he said, “They’re just not your style!”
He made me smile and happy. He exchanged the pants with another selection, more my style.
The cost or size of a house doesn’t make it a home or your style. Making your house your home, by filling it with people and things you love, is far more important. And, there are other kinds of value.
Safety is critical to the creation of a happy home. The world outside may not be safe in many ways, but the style of our home’s interior should always be safe. That may mean many things to all of us. Think about what it means to you. Can the people you live with count on you to be consistent and loving? Are you a great companion? Are you over burdened with debt? Is your life over-programmed and so busy that you can’t enjoy the company of those you love?
Love is the most important element in which to feather your home. We should all work to give luxurious love, just like the down caressing a mother duck’s eggs. Her down didn’t cost her any money, and didn’t stop her from filling her nest with one of life’s most comforting elements. Heartfelt love is the human equivalent to duck or goose down. Feather your nest with it until it spills through the edges of your home.
When others view your home, they may think you’ve selected an unusual place to live your life. It may be hard for them to understand, only because they don’t understand your circumstances. But later, when they get to observe you and your loved ones, they’ll say to themselves, it’s not expensive, it’s not a mansion on the beach, and these people don’t live large — but they’ve made it a showy place. That little house is great to look at, with a style all of its own. It’s simple, safe and filled with luxurious amounts of love. Then they’ll know you’ve chosen exactly the right place. The place where every person living there blends perfectly with their individually created surroundings.
Then, you’ll whisper to yourself, as you stop in your front yard to look more carefully, “I’ll bet virtually everyone who walks past this home misses its magnificence.” And, you’ll have to pause there regularly, just to make sure your still alive, and haven’t passed on to heaven. That’s when you’ll see more than sticks attached to some bricks, stone, or stucco, covered by a shingled roof. You’ll see it as a house feathered with love.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.