Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Lesson Of The Quails

I like to take walks in my neighborhood. There are a lot of quail where I live. I love this time of year when I see a mother quail with her brood of baby chicks. They grow up very fast. Sometimes there are two adult quail with the chicks but most of the time, just one.
They scurry about and when they sense impending danger,  
they classically dart for the bushes or underbrush for safety.

On my walk yesterday, I saw a mother quail with about a dozen chicks. They came out from one bush area into the open and saw me! The mother immediately sensed the danger to her babies (me) and quickly darted off to the underbrush of a neighboring, more secure bush. The last chick in line took a little bit to get out of the first bush and then had to catch up to the others in the the safer bush. Whew!

I thought about the chicks and the mother on the way home. I thought about them several times yesterday and again this morning. Mothering is a lot like that for humans too. Mothers are always on the lookout for danger. At the first sense of danger, a mother will "head for the bush." She rarely goes out and faces the danger, her innate sense of wisdom tells her to hunker down in safety with her "chicks" and wait for the danger to pass. Fathers tend to be a bit different. They are wired to "fight" the danger.

Mothers will always look out for danger. 
She ALWAYS wants her children
 to follow her to safety.
 It's just how she is wired.

Thinking about the chicks reminded me of the sad reality that those chicks quickly grow up. They soon leave the mother and they are on their own. The mother did her part. She took care of them. She fed them, helped them, taught them, and ran to the bushes as many times as she needed to for their safety. She showed them where the bushes were and how to get there for safety. She taught them HOW to stay safe and run for cover when danger is near.

The sad reality for old mothers after children "leave the nest" however is that she is not only left with an "empty nest," but with a lingering, nagging question...

"Will my chicks always remember what I taught them
about how to stay safe and how to keep from danger
or at the very least,
where to go for help when they face danger?"

I hope so.
 I did my best.

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