A dream, a drum, and a nest o’ robins…

Photo by MDH

My drum taking a sun bath..

Happy midsummer, DotP readers! Yes, the summer solstice is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. Did you know that the longest day of the year actually stretches for three? Well, this morning I’m reflecting upon robins who nested by my fire circle, which I delightfully discovered last month while getting ready for Drumming with the Moon. It’s a first for a bird nest in that spot!  The trestle with trumpet vine, both survivors of my maternal grandmother Margaret, who passed seven summers ago.

This second summer Stateside after many a summer in Belgium, I take special pleasure in experiencing the robin, who does not live in mainland Europe. Finding robin’s nest by the fire circle felt a blessing, in part, for the drumming itself: a pause in the whirlwind of life, a connection with what brings joy. My drum and I first crossed paths in a Flemish thrift store, and got to know one another by sunlight and candle light in the old, old farm house where we lived. Since then, the drum has become a teacher alongside my shamanic studies. Without a doubt, the beat soundly links where I’ve been, I am, and I’m going.

Photo by MDH

Robins in the trumpet vine…

Gathering drums around a fire and the moon came quite naturally after the rich experience of apprenticing with Colleen Deatsman. The drum continually serves as a source of uplift and renewal, bringing me back to robin eggs in the trumpet vine, a plant Grandma chose with the intention of attracting hummingbirds. The three delicate, powder-blue ovals were protected by a pair of adults, one at time. When the hatchlings appeared, they were surprisingly quiet, and as they grew, their collective size took up every nook of the nest. Last weekend the robins fledged — of course, while I was out of town! I heard that two of the three survived the flight into adulthood; the third was buried with respect.

One of the presses for paper making at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, where I've been taking classes. My studio is is in the same building -- the Park Trades Center.

One of the presses for paper making at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, where I’ve been taking classes. My studio is is in the same building — the Park Trades Center.

Now the nest is empty, and I consider possibilities of its use. Likely I will take the robin nest to my arts studio in Kalamazoo, where I’m gathering essentials for the material launch of my small press Femestiza. The press was but a dream with a name while I lived in Belgium, and a few years later in Michigan was symbolically launched via my poetry collection Circle…Home.

Looking back, I sit with the co-incidence of the Femestiza dream and meeting the drum. I see how their proximity was a coupling of sorts, a conception rippling across these subsequent years. The eggs are ready to hatch, and I’m eager to meet the featherless babes, aware that some will fledge while others will fall.  All the while, I’m grateful for your presence as we watch what comes next together! My deepest thanks for your continued readership on DotP and support of this creative-healing adventure.

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