a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.



I could hardly wait to get home yesterday to check the progress of the new finch nest on my door wreath.

On Day Two, it now has the characteristic cup shape. It’s lined with white fuzz, a soft cushion for the precious eggs to come.

It is comprised almost exclusively of fresh green grass. The color of newness and life.

House finches are said to represent new beginnings.

Their nests always fill me with awe, and never more than now, watching the parents working together to rebuild immediately after two of their babies died in the previous nest, which I tore down. Confession: I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. Nature is mighty, ever-resilient, wise; it is imbued with regenerative power. Yet there are so many delicate balances within it. I didn’t want to upset any of these. I am a mere student of these birds. They are the experts.

So to see this nest being built in the exact spot as the ill-fated former one is a gift. It sends my spirits soaring, exponentially.

House finches are considered symbols of joy. If you ever hear one singing, you understand why.

In some parts of the world, they’re called the blessing bird.

They chose my door years ago as the place to bring new life into the world. I now share the wonder of it with my seven-year-old granddaughter, our “nurture scientist.” Together we have witnessed the miracle of tiny life coming into existence and eventually taking flight. In a couple more seasons, her baby sister will be able to enjoy it, too.

After I took this photo of the new nest, rejoicing and wondering when the first egg will appear, I went into the house to find a mysterious package my husband had retrieved from the mailbox.

Neither of us had ordered anything.


I opened it…

A gift from a friend I met through writing, who reads about my finches each spring, who knows of the recent loss.

I am awed again.

A writing community is like a nest: a safe place especially created for growth, where we nurture one another and encourage each other to stretch our wings and fly.

It is here that we learn the true power of story and how it knits our hearts together. In the beginning, in the end, we are story.

To live it, write it, build it together, is a gift.

And the time for doing it is now. Today.

My love for the finches, like my love for writing, is inextricably woven through and through with gratitude for the blessings in my life. It’s all a song in my heart, greater than words.

Each day brings its own gifts. It’s up to us to see them, accept them, celebrate them.

And to give in return.

Beyond the horizon
Lies infinite possibility
Eyes cannot see.
Sky meeting sea
Sea meeting sky…
I fly ever onward
Nested and rested in the
Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Today, there might be an egg.

with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the monthlong Slice of Life Story Challenge

and my dear gift-giver

19 thoughts on “Blessing

  1. What a beautiful gift! I wish I had thought to send it. You write so longingly about the house finches. I’ve been watching a cardinal couple out of my kitchen window. They must be nesting nearby. Noticing and noting the natural environment brings a touch of hope back into our broken world. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are ever-gracious, Margaret. I have loved the gorgeous hummingbird photos you sent. I think these house finches are my favorite of all. They -and even their history – represent overcoming. I imagine those cardinals you see do have a nest nearby – will you see babies learning to fly, I hope?? I see so many cardinals here – they are just breathtaking.


  2. I like the interconnectedness of the “episodes” in your post, Fran–the nest observations, connecting with the gift, and then the writing community. The poem is the icing on the cake. Thank you for allowing us to pause and observe and be grateful with you this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your words, Chris. When I came home this evening, the father finch was on the wreath. He’s just beautiful. All the sources say male house finches might be seen carrying nesting material but the females build the nest. I am here to say this male is, in fact, actually helping to construct the nest. There’s more fluffy white lining in it today. So soft and precious. I expect an egg any morning…also, the quote on my new ornament and the poem it inspired made me think of you with “beyond the horizon”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, what a gorgeous post, as usual. Your blessing acrostic is beautiful. My favorite lines: “Nested and rested in the / Giver of ever good and perfect gift.” Nested and rested, we can be, like your finches. What a blessing, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your gracious words, Denise! That line should say “Giver of every good and perfect gift…” and I have corrected it. This next-to-last post was a real challenge; I wrote it and it didn’t save. None of it. I had to rewrite it this morning – so your words mean much!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, my goodness, it didn’t save! Sometimes I have left a page (or when I’m composing in a comment on Ethical ELA) having not saved or posted, and I’m heartbroken. I’m so glad you rewrote it. And I did read the “giver of every…gift” correctly even though it was missing a letter. (I hadn’t even noticed!)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So many blessings and golden lines hiding in this slice. One of my favorites-“Together we have witnessed the miracle of tiny life coming into existence and eventually taking flight.”

    What strikes me is that your door, that same spot, is chosen again and again. Nearing the end of this challenge on the heels of heartbreak, this is a sign. Your writing soars, as will the new life to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fran, this would warm my heart any day, but after the past couple of days I’ve had, seeing that nest ready for new life is thrilling. I love the bird gift and how you so cleverly wove those lines into the Blessing acrostic. This post is just filled with all good things, but mostly hope. Hope for new life despite the sadness of the past. We can learn so much from these birds. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Fran, I’ve missed several days. I had to back up to your A-Z poem about those grand girls in order to catch up and then the heartbreak of the baby birds, the rebuilding,and your lovely words about our writing community being like a nest. You are a blessing to this community. I treasure your words and faithfulness. Thank you, dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ramona, you buoy my heart and spirits more than you can ever know! Thank you for reading the posts and responding with such care. I am always grateful for you, the beauty that you see and share on your blog, your faith, your creativity, and the sublime kinship of having little grandchildren…YOU are a blessing to me, friend. Here’s to all the wonders and writing yet to come!


  7. Such a delightful gift and the ongoing story of the finches and the threads you draw from their lives and weave into your writing. I especially love the thought that each day brings its own gifts, but we need to be on the lookout. I tend to miss some along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Celia – your lens of gratitude is immense. It is the very thing for detecting gifts! Sometimes they come packaged strangely, however. Thank you for all of your lovely thoughts this month and I have enjoyed every single jaunt over to Australia on your post. It’s been such a joy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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