Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Seasonal Molt

During the past month Dovie has been a little more subdued than usual. During that time she was mostly silent, less active, and partly bald. She is better now; much better!

The truth is that Dovie, like all birds, goes through seasons of molting. Dovie seems to have a smaller molt (just losing a few feathers here and there before the Springtime egg laying season) and a bigger molt (at which time she loses all of her head and neck feathers, many body feathers, and sequentially a number of tail and wing feathers).

Clearly her big molt happens during the month of July. During this molt she tends to become very silent and subdued. The evolutionary process most likely selected for this behavior because subdued behavior during the big molt would help to not draw the attention of potential predators.

This subdued behavior during the big molt is a time of reduced activity. To anthropomorphize Dovie's big molt, let's say that its a time of retreat, introspection, and renewal. In fact, as we seek to live into community with all that has life, I think we could all benefit from a seasonal molt.

A time to let our frayed and ragged edges to be cast into the wind creating space for the emergence of new growth. A time of retreat, introspection, and renewal. A time to think and rethink why we do what we do in light of the transformation that the Spirit of God is always bringing about in our hearts.

 A time to cast off the old and welcome the new. The Apostle Paul put it like this; "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

The seasonal molt is a gift of God for the good of our mind, heart, body, and spirit.

I do believe my seasonal molt will occur at the end of the month during my time of retreat, introspection, and renewal in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.

When is the last time you set aside a week for a seasonal molt? When is the next one?

(In this photo and the one below it Dovie's new feathers are beginning to come back in)

(Check out Dovie's fresh plumage in this video! I was just going to make this whole blog post a video but as you can tell, Dovie managed to cut off the video feed when she landed on my phone!)

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