Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Necessity of Nesting

Lately, my wife has been in a self-acknowledged nesting mode. Now that we are "empty nesters" she has been busy preparing our sons' former bedrooms for guests. This has involved much cleaning, culling, reorganizing and some redecorating. She receives great satisfaction from the results of these activities.

We usually associate nesting with women, but do men nest as well? Of course! An article I read in today's New York Times "Science Times" section brought home this point. In "At Home In Solitude As a Spirit Recovers," Dana Jennings describes his recovery from treatment for aggressive prostate cancer: surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy.

While Mr. Jennings body has recovered, his spirit has not. Therefore, he is nesting by taking pleasure "in the most gentle rhythms of daily life": taking long walks, meeting a friend for breakfast, getting a haircut. He has especially been enjoying some solitude.

When we experience a any kind of catastrophe-- physical, emotional or spiritual--nesting is so necessary. We need to do those things that help our inner selves, our souls, recover and heal. The healing of a soul is much like physical healing: it takes time, attention and self-care.

Nesting requires an awareness of what truly feeds, and heals, our souls. Such awareness takes time and effort to develop. But, once we know these things, the challenge is to do them. So, three cheers for nesting!

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