Posts Tagged ‘Emperor penguins’

The Emperor

Penguins have a kind of  “hard knock” life. Ever since I saw “March of the Penguins” there has been a small little space in my heart reserved for these determined birds. This space grew a little larger this week as I pulled the pages, day by day, off my desk calendar. It is a calendar that celebrates the planet Earth, and nearly every day this week was devoted to penguins. These animals put a nearly inconceivable amount of work into reproducing, finding their one mate in a crowd of thousands when it matters most, and just surviving.

Monday and Tuesday may not have been about penguins…..Tuesday could have been, but I actually don’t remember. I was still deep in the mires of work and my own little trials. But Wednesday I still have, and it is what seemed to trigger the emotions I felt for these little guys all over again. Wednesday reminded me that Emperor penguins make a HUGE migration in autumn to breed in one of the most frigid, harsh, icy, desolate places on Earth. Beautiful, but not exactly nurturing. (Makes me think of my 9 frozen blastocysts, chilling out in pairs of two in a little, metal cyro-tube.) I don’t know how they came to be called “Emperor” Penguins, and I don’t care to find out. Because in my mind it is because they are regal; they have passion in their DNA so strong that they are born just a small bird, but with a monumental soul. What a proper name they have earned.

On Thursday, the males began to guard their eggs. For months, they withstand brutal winds and numbing temperatures without food to nurture their small counterparts within the fragile shells. Holding the prize between their little penguin legs, in a warm and furry place, they take great care to ensure the developing life does not end up on the frozen ground just inches away. They never take a break. They have no sports on TV. They have no Man Cave. What do they do, all those weeks? What do they think about? What do they feel? Maybe they just understand. They instinctively huddle in groups for warmth.

Instinctively. Without reserve.

In between Thursday and Friday, the females had gone to hunt and gather. They head to the oceans where countless perils await so that they can bring back food for their mates. It is fascinating; penguins and seahorses have a great rarity in common. Male seahorses give birth, and male penguins nurture and grow the unborn. Makes you kind of realize that if a seahorse in the temperate waters of the Atlantic can share a secret with birds traveling across the icy lands of Antarctica, anything is possible.

On Saturday, the female penguin returns with food for the unshakable males. At the end of the harsh season, as the moderate (relatively speaking) summer begins, the chicks are born. The females nurture the new young, and eventually migrate home until mating season begins again. Here is what enthralls me – more than the advent of computers, surgery with lasers, or the fact that we have walked on the moon – after all those months, in an endless sea of twinned penguins, the same female finds the same male from before she left.  How? This is my argument for those who cannot find a way to believe in both evolution and God at the same time. Don’t they see? We have the divinity and the love of our creator and it has allowed life here to evolve to this momentous event. The saga of a bird, that we have mistakenly decided is leagues less intelligent than we are and much less complex. Yet it does this. Evolution is the glory of free will and divinity personified. It is God, in earthly form – to create life from love.

We should hope to be like the penguin. The Emperor.

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