The Art of Being Still: Part 3

Bradley Robertson

By Bradley Robertson

“Where does one begin to find the still? You begin by finding it in just one place…”

This is our ending, dear readers. As a writer, I feel like I either have a lot to say or have very few words at all. I’m either overflowing or speechless. In this way, I’m learning, learning to speak and listen at the same time.

It is not my hope for you to find me in this work I do, it is my hope that you may see yourself, that these simple words will speak for many…

One of my favorite books from childhood and to this day is The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman. I still have the copy that was read to me, and I just recently placed it in the hands of my good boy Shep. I went looking for our storybook of Winnie the Pooh; I instead came across The Best Nest and was filled with delight.

I have often thought of my home as a nest for many reasons and I’m sure all other mothers out there can relate. But seeing Shep pick my book and read the title without hesitation brought on a whole new meaning of what a “nest” can be.

The story goes like this … there is a very happy Mr. Bird, who sings a charming song of having “the best nest.” And his dear wife, Mrs. Bird, isn’t as happy as Mr. Bird about their home. After his cheerful song, Mrs. Bird says, “It’s NOT the best nest!”

Poor Mr. Bird frowns, but he says that he will go with her to find a better nest.

They search high and low and nothing is quite suitable. They decide to build a new nest in a church tower. They are proud and happy and so Mr. Bird sings his cheerful song again. While he is singing, the bell in the tower begins to ring and Mrs. Bird is startled. She becomes frightened and leaves the nest abruptly. Mr. Bird soon flies into the tower and sees that Mrs. Bird is missing.

He begins to search for her. He becomes gloomy and sad and concludes that Mrs. Bird is gone forever. It begins to rain, and he cannot see where he is going, and he bumps into something. It is his old nest, in his old bird house. He goes inside and finds none other than Mrs. Bird!

Mr. Bird gasps, “You! Here! I thought you hated this old nest!”

Mrs. Bird smiles and says, “I used to hate it, but a mother bird can change her mind…”

There is a little more to this ending, but I’ll leave that for your own curiosity.

I see everyday people searching and looking for a better nest. We want more. We want something different and new. We are looking for something to fill the next moment, the next day, the next hour. We look outside our own nest to find the next piece of life to fill our happiness.

And while looking for a new nest, we completely miss the nest we are resting upon. We miss the joy, the simple, the smile, the listening, the understanding, the connection, the realness of ourselves and others, the here and now.

Being still in our own nest really is the best.

Stillness connects me with my little boy so he can learn to read; when he looks at me with his little grin in satisfaction of his ability, nothing can replace it.

Stillness allows me to hold my 12-year-old daughter so she feels and knows that although she’s growing up, she is a child who still needs my touch to find calmness in the chaos.

Stillness is hugging my grown boy in the kitchen while I’m smack in the middle of dinner and laundry and homework and life. For he has learned to reach for his own stillness, and the place he finds it is in me.

My best nest is my own self. When I can stop the noise of life and rest in my own soul, God lays his hands on me and I gently hear “be still.”

“Do I have time for this?” I ask myself. “Do I even want to go there?”

“What if’s” of anything and everything run through my mind. I choose to lean into the still no matter what is to come. And every single time a peace that passes all understanding falls over me. Then I am able to move forward and take care of all the other items in my nest with thanksgiving.

You are the best nest. Right here, right now. Your home is the best nest. All that you have to offer is good. And you can only see this when you learn to be still. Be still in you. Be still in your family. Be still in all the ways placed at your feet.

The art of being still allows us to see our own best nest. And who wants to miss that?

“I love my house. I love my nest. In all the world, my nest is best!” P.D. Eastman


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