Lessons from a Chickadee: Nova Scotia Life

A chickadee flew into my life between snowstorms and brought with it two important reminders for me.

We weathered a record-breaking nor-easter on Monday of last week. Those high winds quickly showed us all the drafty spots in our old plank floor.  I love the “personality” of that old floor and I don’t want to cover it up. We’re going to have foam insulation blown into the basement below it. However, that won’t happen until spring so for now we deal with it as best we can. Luckily only a northeast wind presents a challenge.

In the meantime, it takes extra firewood to keep our living room cozy and we hadn’t gotten enough last fall. Right after the storm we took delivery of two more cords. Problem was, another storm was set to arrive the next day which gave us just one day to move it all and get it under cover in the outbuilding that currently serves as storage and a wood shed. (Thank goodness for good neighbours. Debbie the Postmistress came by and gave us a hand. We couldn’t have gotten it done without her help!)

We’ve got bigger plans for this but that’s another post.

The First Lesson

We finished stacking one load of wood and were heading back for another load when I spotted a chickadee in the path, spread-eagled on its back, stunned, probably from a collision with one of the windows.

I hate seeing an animal hurt so I gently scooped it up and, while Heber went for more logs, I sat on our picnic table, cupping my hands around the wee thing to keep it warm, hoping it would recover.

Against my palm I felt tiny movements and almost a vibration which I think may have been its heart beating. I peeked a couple of times to check its progress. Each time I did a bright little bead of an eye looked back at me. I murmured softly, hoping it understood I meant it no harm.

Gradually it pulled its wings back against its body so I opened my hand, giving it freedom to leave when it was ready. Suddenly the chickadee gave a shake and sat up, perching on my fingers. It sat there for a minute or two, cheeped and flew off into the spruce trees to join her flock.

That was lesson number one: a reminder to me to pay attention to the precious small things that enter our lives.  If we had rushed out of that building, intent on the task at hand, we would have run right over her.

It’s not a bad thing to stay aware and change course, even for a few minutes, so you can see the bigger picture.

Sometimes small things teach us big lessons.

The Second Lesson

The next morning while writing in my journal,  I looked up the meaning of chickadee and what they can teach us.

A chickadee represents cheerful and truthful expression. They’re sociable creatures, always in flocks. Their black cap is associated with our higher mind and understanding. In addition, chickadee prompts us to express truth in a manner that heals, balances and adds joy to life.

The message couldn’t be more perfect for me because community, cheer and joy are why I write this blog.

In order to accomplish that, I know it’s important that I be myself, express my truth and use my ‘voice’. (No pretense or hiding behind ‘coach speak’.)

Like the sociable chickadee, I want to share stories of our new home and my creative journey, partly to keep myself on track but also to encourage you as a fellow traveler.

Final Word

Last week quite a few of you left comments or connected through social media to let me know my words touched you. Thank you! That tells I’m on the right track. You touched me right back.

I believe my chickadee would approve!

3 thoughts on “Lessons from a Chickadee: Nova Scotia Life”

  1. Hi Aprille,

    I really love the way you write about your experience with the chickadee. You give a full picture and sense of what was happening and confirm that life in all forms is precious and when we connect that form recognizes us as a kindred spirit to be trusted. Nice share Aprille.

    Thank you,


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