While trees cast a large shadow (see last week’s post on Shade), they also offer a stable place for small animals to build nests.

Birds and squirrels use nests to protect eggs and newly born babies from predators and the weather. Therefore, they often seek inaccessible places that are still close to food sources. Once they find a sturdy foundation like the convergence of several limbs or a cavity in the tree trunk, they weave a mixture of firm twigs, grass, leaves, and soft fluff together to create a home for the next generation to be born. When it’s time for the baby birds to fly, the parents remove the fluff so the nest becomes uncomfortable. How’s that for motivation to leave?

With the Olympics still fresh in my mind, I’m reminded of the many stories of families (and mothers) who nurtured, sheltered, encouraged, and made a place for their children’s dreams of gymnastics, swimming, or track medals. At times firm and other times soft, they allowed the dream to grow until it was time for their children to leave the nest and soar.

What about me? What am I doing to support and encourage the dreams of those around me? Am I helping my children find their niche? Am I supportive of my husband’s work? Am I mentoring any new writers? Do I know when to comfort and when to remove the fluff so the baby will want to leave the nest?

Since my goal is to be like a tree in 2012, I have to ask if there are any nests in my branches.

What about you? How do you support the dreams of those close to you? What is the right balance between twigs and fluff? How do you know when it’s time to push?

Like A Tree – Nests
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