My husband and I sometimes travelled with our kids when they were tiny. If we ever stayed in a motel, we would make them a “cozy nest” out of spare blankets and pillows on the floor. But I can’t remember why. Were they so small they might fall off the bed during the night? Or could they not share a bed because one flailed around and snored?
Whatever the reason, the phrase persisted in our family, and, for me, the words “cozy nest” always bring to mind the sweet little faces of our sleeping kids so many years ago. It makes me happy to think about the trust they had in us, and the feeling that, so long as we were all together, and there was a soft place to sleep, everything was okay.
This is a pretty good definition of home: security and a sense of belonging somewhere.
The CV Collective often features stories about place-making and the meaning of home. This issue is no exception. This is why NEST resonated with our editorial team as a fall theme: even though most birds and animals nest in the spring, we humans instinctively nest as the days grow shorter.
If you’re anything like me, you’re outside as much as possible when the days are long and warm, dashing in and out, and trying to squeeze every drop of sunshine out of summer. Who wants to waste those precious days tidying up?
But there comes an evening when we have to turn on the lights to make dinner and suddenly realize we’re about to be inside a lot more during the months ahead. It’s nesting time. Time to tidy up all the random stuff scattered around the place, see if the warm clothes still fit, restock the pantry. Soon, pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters, and jumping in piles of leaves will trend on social media.
Like many of us, I’ve fallen for—or more accurately, aspired to live by—more than one home-trend fad over the years (hello feng shui, Marie Kondo, minimalism, and hygge). And no wonder. These methods speak to the universal yearning for simplicity, security, and sense of place.
In this NEST issue, we don’t offer any decorating tips, but we have stories aplenty about our shared home. There’s one feature about actual birds (although, funnily enough, it’s not about nesting). The rest of the issue is filled with stories about people, whether they’re interacting with forests, the ocean, the Earth, universal energy, or each other.
I hope these stories help you think about the Comox Valley of today, how it used to be, and what the future will look like. What does it mean to make this place our home, whether we’ve just arrived or have roots going back generations—or even to time immemorial? How can we do better than we did in the past? How do our choices affect future generations?
Birds build their nests together. If we’re to have a secure future, humans need to work collaboratively, with insight into the past, compassion in the present, and thoughtful planning for the future.
As I look over the stories and images in this magazine, I feel hopeful. Perhaps we can follow the advice of writer Glennon Doyle and “Just do the next right thing, one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.”
A cozy nest is not something that’s a given for everybody in our community. It’s a privilege to have a safe, secure home. A lot of people are going through tough times, so if you’re able to help, please consider making a donation to one of the many local organizations that help people who are underhoused. Visit cvhousing.ca/members for more info.