You know there's a lot of talk about how it is harmful the way that city and suburban kids are lacking in wild places. They have no room to roam, no one on one time with the outdoors. It's said that the lack of time outside contributes to obesity, attention disorders and depression. I can see that.
The Feathers that Define You
Every time I think about that "Last Child In the Woods" though I think about just that… woods. I picture dirty kids building forts and secreting things under rocks and chasing fairies. But we had this experience the other day that made me wonder if there isn't more to it. I wonder if our move away from an agrarian society has robbed us of even more. I wonder if the fact that the majority of kids have so little interaction with animals, save for a cat or dog or sad goldfish in a bowl, isn't detracting from their vision of the world too.
I imagine farm kids learn an awful lot about life and death, personalities and responsibility and good old fashioned hard work and patience from the animals under their families care. And I'm thinking you probably don't have to go into too many details about the birds and the bees for a farm kid – they've seen it all before. It's a part of their lives and not some strange far off concept.
I don't mean just the nuts and bolts of the thing either, I mean all the silly, intense, ridiculous ritual that passes between a male and a female – it happens in the animal world too.
Take the peacocks we met the other day…
Apparently it is the season of love in the world of the peacock because all the males were quite busy doing their best to look virile and important. Oh they walked tall. They walked proud. They did this funny ruffling dance with their under feathers that made a kind of humming music – a love song of sorts.
The really interesting part was how the peahens did everything in their power to ignore the men altogether. They would not, no WOULD NOT look at them.
The boys would sway and ruffle and hold up their gaudy plumes and the girls would go on pecking at bugs and ho-humming at the clouds as if nothing at all were amiss.
BUT it was also very clear that each gal had a man picked out – each had a favorite boy to ignore. He danced and she stuck close by, but refused to look at him. Too funny.
And then there was this poor fellow.
Everyone was ignoring him, but no one was ignoring him with purpose and passion. Know what I mean? It was sad to watch him dance all alone, no gal doing her best not to notice.
We sat and discussed the fact that to US this was the most extraordinary male of the bunch – rare and exciting, but to the girls, he was probably just funny looking and strange.
We talked about how his feathers would be highly prized in some circles, but they were the very things that made him undesirable where it probably mattered to him. We sincerely hoped that some wise young peahen would love him, admire him even, not in spite of who he is, but BECAUSE of who he is.
My oldest said that whatever hen would love him, she would obviously be the best of the bunch. The white peacock would actually be LUCKY because he would know that whoever loved him, she REALLY loved HIM and not just his feathers.
I said a little prayer right then and there that he remembers that always – the girl who loves your feathers, just as they are, who can cherish your uniqueness, that's THE ONE. And whatever it is that makes you different can be a blessing, not a curse – it can be the very thing that leads you to truth.
Love your feathers, whatever color they may be.
"People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock,
and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet." ~Sa'Di