Simple Definition of nest
: the place where a bird lays its eggs and takes care of its young
: a place where an animal or insect lives and usually lays eggs or takes care of its young
: a home where people live
The first nest I painted and sold was on a pillow...the buyer fell in love with it because there were 3 eggs and she had 3 children.
I have a very distinct memory of when the nest symbolism took root in my heart- it was a Thanksgiving a long time ago-early in our marriage and before children and we had driven late into the night to my in-laws house about 8 hours away. All 5 of the siblings would be there with the addition of 2 new daughters-in-law. By the time we arrived it was the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning and my mother-in-law was elbow deep in a massive turkey, stuffing the daylight out of it. I don't think she'd been to bed...cooking, baking, preparing for 9+ people for dinner by herself. But there she was-smiling from ear to ear-because we had finally arrived and
"All my chicks are in the nest!"
She looked me in the eye and said, "there is nothing like this feeling. When I go to sleep I know where everyone is, and that they are all safe."
Fast-forward 20 years or so and her words never rang truer. When the first chick left my nest I felt like the whole structure would fall out of the tree! But after a little time (ok, maybe more than a "little")and some re-arranging balance was restored and my kids soon learned that when "all the chicks were in the nest" mama was HAPPY.
I even had them trained!
Me: "Guess what?"
Kids: "what, mom."
Me: "tonight is gonna be the BEST night! do you know why?"
Kids: "Yes, mom. All your chicks are in the nest." (said together in a monotone, slightly annoyed voices, with added eye-rolling).
Throughout the changes in my "nest" I kept painting them. I loved them-the colors, the meaning, and the ease of being able to paint without even thinking about how to do it. When we moved a few years ago I decided to paint a BIG one to hang over the fireplace in our keeping room. The 4x5 foot canvas was the largest I had ever bought. BAM! It was awesome! Painting that big was so freeing! My husband loved it and even left me a note on it: "that picture on the mantle is perfect. Beautiful. DO NOT SELL."
So of course I took it to the one show I had ever participated in!!!
It looked enormous looming over the "regular" sized paintings I had hanging behind it. It actually made me nervous carrying it in. It was a bold statement piece screaming "Look at me! I think I can paint!"
"No one will buy this," I thought. "It's too big and too expensive and too personal." My dear friend Charlotte was working my booth on the opening night while I watched my senior's soccer play-off game. She was going to text me if anything sold. Her first text read: "I changed the price on your big nest. It's too low."
WHATTTTT? up $200!!!
Her next text came in: "I sold your big nest".
Since that night I have continued to paint those nests BIG. I've painted them in almost every color-from 2 eggs (anniversary gift!) to 6 eggs for a happy mama with a very full nest. I've painted a nest that was 7 feet long and I've painted them on 2 inch square canvases for Christmas ornaments. I've painted eggs that are blue for boys and pink for girls, and every shade in between.
And each time I paint one I think about my nest:
a snug retreat or refuge; a resting place; home.
I pray that yours and mine will always be just that.