This morning I found a Phoebe nest waiting for me on the Eastern deck. It was a large one that had been built up under the roof ridge on the East peek of the cabin. We have seen the Squirrels knocking these nests down before, so it was not surprising, but it got me thinking about the connection between Phoebe's and Squirrel.
Phoebes comes back year after year nesting close to and sometimes in the nests they built the year before. They used this one last Summer. Since we have seen Squirrel knocking the nests down in past years, I'm sure it will not be a new experience for Phoebe to show up this Spring and find the nest displaced.
Phoebe builds and Squirrel knocks down, and Phoebe builds again. It's part of how they live together. If Phoebe got angry or resentful about having to rebuild, it would simply be a waist of her time. Anger won't rebuild the nest, but it might exhaust her, or keep her from building the nest as well as she might.
My culture invites me to think that if someone does something to me, like destroying my home, I should get angry and retaliate. I am asked to believe that my retaliation brings some kind of balance back to the world. This idea is not born out in my experience.
What I see with Phoebe and Squirrel is this. When Phoebe returns, she and her mate will build another nest, sing their songs, raise their young, and fly off in the Fall. Squirrel will knock that nest down getting from it what she needs, or she won't. Whatever happens with Squirrel, Phoebe will return to build and sing and fly away again. That seems like balance to me.