Monday, August 30, 2010

Growing Up

I always thought that Spring was the most fertile time of year for the outside creatures but there has been an outbreak of babies lately – tiny chipmunks, squirrels, and birds abound. It’s fun to watch their beginning interactions with the world as they grow. Just as with people babies, and then toddlers, everything is new. They have to figure things out. How can you balance on a feeder and get the seeds without falling off? It is okay to make friends with a hawk if you’re a squirrel? Should I worry about that cat who’s a lot bigger than my chipmunk brother and me? I keep telling my grandson, who is just four, that it isn’t safe to run into the street; sometimes I yell at a bunny who wanders innocently across. They will all get what they need to know one day. Growing up is developmental.

These birds have fledged out of their nests but have not come into their fullness yet. Young birds look particularly gawky. The scraggly cardinal will become a beautiful adult but right now feathers are all in disarray. The bluejay doesn’t have its wing colors in yet but it has its potential prominence. The finches are still speckled and despite their tentativeness are fast-winged.

This is a visual reminder of the growing process. We all are born needing to learn and adapt but we also bring with us the essence of who we are. It is a joint progression, the physical and elemental, the innate and the learned. Babies are all the same – cute, worrisome, full of incredible potential. A pretty grand progression, I think.


  1. Your blog always brings out a thought, memory or reflection in me. This time, it caused me to remember how I loved teaching first grade because I could see the enthusiasm and wonder in the children's young faces. Almost everything we did was new to them and they absorbed sights,sounds and facts with endless questions and delight.

  2. Baby birds of any variety, even humans, are fun to watch. I think it helps to keep our own sense of wonder active. I know you were a great teacher!