Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Migratory vs the Maternal

Somewhere in his book Songlines, Bruce Chatwin writes :

"In The Descent of Man Darwin notes that in certain birds, the migratory impulse is stronger than the maternal. A mother will abandon her fledglings in the nest rather than miss her appointment for the long journey south."


"Darwin quotes the example of Audubon's goose, which, deprived of its pinion feathers, started out to walk the journey on foot. He then goes on to describe the sufferings of a bird, penned up at the season of its migration, which would flail its wings and bloody its breast against the bars of its cage."

But I am not an audubun goose and although I left Karl and Sean in Butuan, the contemplation of this trip is already tearing me apart. Maybe, I am more of a mother than a traveler.

No comments: