I hung a bird house in a weather-ripped Sitka spruce the other morning, and I took more pleasure in that activity than I have in any other thing I’ve done in months. That includes finishing two books. What made hanging the birdhouse especially satisfying was that I found it buried in a corner of a large farm shed that had gone to seed. I was whipping that space into better shape and purpose.
There is nothing like whipping something gone to seed at the hands of human indifference into something with better shape and purpose. Could be a shed, could be a person, could be a dog.
There I was, moving shit, sweeping, going through bags and boxes, and there it was: cedar, clearly homemade, utterly lost, perhaps for all time—until I entombed it and held the house to the rafters. Wonderful! My boss came into the shed and I told him about the discovery. He suggested that when I finish the cleaning, I hang the birdhouse in a nearby tree. What a boss! He’d pay me to hang a bird house!
So I leaned an extension ladder against the tree, went up the rungs, found the perfect spot for mounting, and screwed the bird house into position where it will be somewhat sheltered from fierce south winds and rain.
In the coming weeks and months and years (?) on the job, I hope to see a bird move in. I hope to watch a story unfold.