The House Finch

The Wild Heart of Life

There was a pair of house finches building a small nest outside our window. I’d watch them weave it all together—the female, with her muted brown feathers, working relentlessly on her art. The twigs meticulously placed, one over the next—how they intertwined with one another. The male, with his bright cherry red head and breast, supervising.

When the winds came strong, it fell. I watched them return, perplexed and wondering—hovering inside the air, flittering about and swooping down with exclamations when they found it on the concrete drive. I tried to place it back up in the eaves, and they returned to build it further—but a second bout of winds that afternoon had sent it falling once again. The exclamations returned; the chirrups and the diving; the way their wings cut through the air like glass. I took the empty nest and brought it in to sit beside the others…

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