“One family’s journey to bring life into the world”…
… “In the harshest place on Earth, Love finds a Way” …
Text from a pro-life video? An account of the birth of Jesus? A national 40 Days for Life Reflection? NOPE — this text is from the trailer of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS – a documentary movie showing the natural life cycle of Emperor Penguins. Turns out, we can AND SHOULD all learn a lot from this committed, loving animal.
Here’s a little summary of the emperor penguin’s life cycle:
After a long arduous walk to the mating grounds and a few weeks of engagement and courting, the female lays one single egg and passes it directly on to the male, who puts it against the “brood patch” on his feet. Then the female leaves the colony and returns back to sea to feed. The male emperor penguins have to wait more than two months– 68 days — with the precious eggs until the females return and the eggs hatch! For 68 days this penguin Dad protects and nurtures his offspring within the egg.
In the harsh Antarctic environment, how do penguin dads do it? Emperor penguins depend on each other for keeping warm. They stand very close together in a circle, constantly turning around, so each bird in turn has the chance to warm up in the center and alternately has to bear the cold and snowstorms on the outside of the crowd. In this way, the whole group can survive in such extreme climate and protect the eggs until the female penguins return from feeding.
Not until the female has returned (or their instinct tells them they have to leave to save their own life) will a dad emperor penguin journey back to the sea to feed. TALK ABOUT COMMITMENT TO YOUR BABY!!
Think of a clutch of eggs of any of our birds- from Hummingbird to Ostrich — These new parents are presented with oblong, fragile shell- covered eggs that look NOTHING like baby birds. And YET, the bird parents will risk their lives protecting what they know instinctively to be their offspring.
And birds are not the only ones…….. the animal kingdom is full of examples of adult animals recognizing, caring and sacrificing for their offspring in the very early days of life.
So, the next time someone refers to you as a “bird brain” say “THANKS” ! -Jeannie
Despite the fact that the vigil was officially cancelled today due to safety concerns, some dedicated witnesses manned the sidewalk this morning to pray for and offer life-affirming options to clients of PP and their children.
Tim, 7-9 AM:
I was blessed on this brisk morning to see Pat, year-round Saturday morning regular Bill H. and Michele from St. Peter’s already at the vigil when I arrived. It was a busy morning with couples going into the clinic and a full team of escorts on both sides. One young man accompanying a woman was receptive to us and accepted material. I picked up two daffodils and placed them near the yellow line for the first two couples going in. As I was preparing to leave, four rugged looking men were walking down the street towards us and when they got to us the first one said “Great job” and another added “Thanks for being here” and the other gave us the thumbs up. It was so encouraging and just what I needed.Tim
Charlie arrived to take over at 9 along with Bill S. from St. Ferdinand’s. They were blessed with sunshine as it peeked over the building and were joined by the faithful frequent group that traveled down from Edinboro to pray and witness.
Charlie, 9-11:30 AM:
I filled in as a shift manager from 9 to 11:30. Tim Barrett has pictures of the group that came at 9. Then at 11, a group of seminarians and two students from St. Vincent came. We prayed a rosary but I’m sorry that I left at 11:30–I was frozen through.