As I’m leaning back in my chair, taking a break from the narrow confines of my computer screen, my eyes wander over to a brightly painted and bejeweled birdhouse that sits on top of the bookcase in my office. Actually, I call it my spirit house. It is about 7 inches tall, 7 inches wide and 4 inches deep. It has a steeply pitched roof and two small round holes on the front of it that are big enough for a small wren to flit inside.
However, this sparkly dwelling will never house a wren, or an ash throated flycatcher, or even a nuthatch. It is outfitted to hold my hopes, my dreams, and my prayers. It is my spirit house.
Several years ago, I got together with a few of my circle sisters and brothers; each bringing a wooden birdhouse that we had purchased from a local craft store. They come in all sorts of shapes. Some are gazebo shaped, others look like barns, and then there is the one that looks like something out of the Hansel and Gretel Fairytale. That was the one I chose for me.
Each of us brought an array of things to glue on to our coops: sequins, rhinestones, flowers, pipe cleaners, old jewelry, ribbons, lace, and any other do-dad that caught our eye. We also brought in magazines that provided collage material. Then we needed the basics like glue guns, decoupage glue, small jars of paint and an assortment of paint brushes.
We sat around a table sharing all our treasures and many stories as our plain plywood abodes became shining mini-palaces and shimmering habitats to house our hopes, dreams, and gratitudes. Each dwelling was amazingly unique in its reflection of our creative diversity.
One day my spirit house will be filled to overflowing with my good wishes and gratitudes, but like the magic pouch in the fairytales, it’s bigger inside than it appears, so, even with the many good wishes and gratitudes that daily cross the threshold, it will not be overflowing for many, many years.
I share this with you because you might want to share this creative and nurturing process with friends or family. It’s a perfect activity for a Thanksgiving gathering, a birthday party, or just for the sheer delight of celebrating the day with friends. Enjoy!
Justine Willis Toms