On New Year’s Eve I suddenly started cleaning out things that I had been holding on to for many years. I have a shelf in my bedroom that has things of beauty on it that I look at a lot. One of the things I love most on the shelf are the birds’ nests I have collected over the years. But as I was cleaning out I had a realization about those nests. They were old and fragile and dusty and they just needed to go. Back into the woods. Back into the world. I had been collecting them for over ten years. I had taken them with me to New Jersey after I got out of the hospital for the last time and moved to be closer to my children after they were taken away from me. Those birds’ nests had been an ispiration of home and nature. But their time was gone. They needed to go back into the bigger world, just like I had needed to go back to my center, to my home inside myself after a long time of being displaced. Over the past several years I have been able to find my way back to a home that is safe and round and beautiful like those nests. But now I am ready to do more. I am ready to create new places to live inside. I put the bird’s nests in a box and took them outside where the birds can find them and reclaim their parts for new nests. I almost cried letting them go, they had been such a part of me for so long. Sometimes we have to let go even of the things we have loved. Sometimes we have to make room for new things of beauty. Sometimes we have to trust the birds to carry the past away as they make a home for the new life of this coming spring.