the day after

I guess for the rest of the world it’s the day before, the day before the birth of a savior. Well I’ve never gone in much for saviors, I’ve always figured it was best and easiest to save yourself, or not get into the great damn mess in the first place. Which is an easy enough of a conclusion to arrive at if your greatest concern is which slope is safe to ski, is that ice really gonna stay up there (with me swinging at it) and can I really get gear in the middle of that runout. That’s the kind of risk assessment you run when you have the luxury of choosing your risks. Of course some risks are inescapable.

I’m not sure yet what I’m trying to say with this post, but I think it’s something like gratitude, or at least amazement, constant amazement at the natural order of things. I don’t mean to go way out on an existential limb here but, I am literally right now in a womb. The island atoll on which I currently reside is in fact a womb for hundreds of thousands of feathered souls. Despite it’s grotesque mutilation by the US Navy and wars both hot and cold there are creatures here who still return year after year by some incomprehensible urge, guided by some internal astrolabe or GPS to within meters of their birthplace to act out the whole crazy cycle again and breathe life into another generation.

These bird brained birds mate for life and will apparently skip multiple breeding seasons if they should lose their mate; what we would anthropomorphize as mourning. They fly out and survey thousands of miles of open ocean to feed, beholding who know’s what and if they’re lucky enough to return their reward is a three, six, twelve week stint on their nest while their mate risks the same perils to feed its own emaciated frame. After all of that suffering and toil the nesting pair may hatch a chick. Of course that chick will immediately recognize it’s parents despite the hundreds of thousands of near identical neighbors, because those parents have been “talking” to their egg for weeks, so that the chick presumably recognizes their vocalizations.

After another three months of doting by it’s parents, the chick has fledged, the parents have resumed their non-parental lifestyles, their job is done. If the chick is able to soar aloft, to feed itself and survive the perils of life at sea it may return in five years or more to contribute it’s own DNA to the endless cycle. But it will have to be one of the lucky 50% who make it off the island as it’s estimated that half of the chicks never do.

I guess that’s the hook and that’s where I’ll finish off, I don’t know how the math works out for humans but we’re not so different. Finally I’m just soaring, learning how to feed myself and lucky to have been provided a chance to find my way home.