Dried grass, mud, bark, and twigs filled the corner of the ledge just above the doorway. All day, I watched her build her home. I sat clicking my pen at the dining table, with its clear view of this determined, architectural endeavour.

One misshapen twig. Dear Grandma, you were the one I wanted to tell first. You are stability and grace. When mom went to work, you were the one who carried me around the neighbourhood to meet everyone in the town, fed me mashed pears, danced with me, and sewed me pillows with floral designs. 

Two olive blades of grass. Dear Ms. Felton, you told me that perfectionists cannot survive in this world, but hard workers can. I am grateful for that light in your eye as you taught about motion, equations that were keys to the world, and discoveries that began with compass needles twitching and fruit falling on heads. 

Mud and grey feathers. Dear mom, you know everything I want to say before I say it. So that my words don’t get lost in a phone call of happy tears and blubbering, here they are. All I can say is thank you. You emanated love and it became home. 

Another twig. A piece of damp bark. Mud pellets intertwined with white and grey feathers. I glanced periodically until the light in the sky appeared to dim and I had finished writing. With careful folding, the letters were enclosed in envelopes and completed with stamps. I opened the door to see her, sitting above the doorway. In a subtle movement of her head and beak, she nodded at me in approval.

She understood the components that make a home. She knew that my wings were not only my own. My wings were nurtured, fed, healed, and guarded with dried grass, mud, bark, and twigs. 

I am writing to share that I finally got my pilot’s license. Because of you, I have my wings. 

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

What a lovely story Mandi. Beautifully written and the last line just adds that perfect finish. Nicely done.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Wow, I didn’t expect that last line but it really adds to an already wonderful story. A story that had me mentally reflecting on the people who helped me through my life as I read. And I can see that little bird continuing to watch over all the flights to come. Well done 🙂

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
1 year ago

This is truly lovely Mandi, with such a natural flow and sweet sentiment. Well done!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

This is a beautiful, very poetic and wise story, Mandi! I love it how you have woven together the bird’s patient and skillful nest building technique and the memories of your own first home. Great work!
Congratulations on your wings, and welcome to voice.club!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hi Mandi, a lovely piece of writing. You used a bird in the building its own home. and its patient attention to detail, to that of the people in your own life, and of the wisdom they gave you.

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Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
1 year ago

A really lovely story, Mandi. The last line is perfect. I like the simile which links them together.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Wow. I love it, Mandi. This is so poetic and inspiring in its way that tells me to be more patient and goal-oriented in achieving my wings. And also this story tells me to appreciate more those people around us, especially our parents that help us by nurturing, feeding, healing, and guarding us while we are making our wings so we can fly high. I learned something from your story.

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