This time of year, I love watching the birds. They are busy and often on the move. This year their migration is especially poignant for me. We just migrated ourselves. Not far – still at the base of our beloved Mt. Hood. But we moved our family to a new home across the valley and are settling into a new rhythm in this place.
What I find fascinating is how different the world looks from here.
I mean it was only a 7-mile shift – not exactly monumental. But that change feels huge in so many ways. There are new sounds here, new wildlife, new neighbors, new areas to explore, and new connections to be made. Some things are easier and some things are more challenging. I miss our old neighbors and the familiar sights and sounds I knew so well at our old house. And also, I love this new space. My senses feel heightened. I feel excited and inspired. I feel aware and alert. I am really tuned into my heart right now because I have had to make lots of decisions about what I want to bring into this new space and what I am ready to let go of. It has been a good reminder that shaking things up is really hard and really healthy.
So back to the birds…
Most birds (and lots of other animals and insects too) make a migration – much FURTHER than mine – twice a year! Some of them do this having never actually made the trek themselves. So they are relying COMPLETELY on their own inner compass. Scientists still can’t agree on how they do this (sun, the stars, by sensing the earth’s magnetic field, etc.). They think they know why they do it – weather, availability of food, and breeding. But I gotta ask – wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to just stay in one spot that has all the conditions you need to eat, mate, raise young, and find shelter?
The fact that so many different species do migrate makes me thing that maybe they’ve got another reason:
Maintaining a strong inner compass.
I’m not saying that food, weather, and breeding grounds aren’t legit reasons to migrate. They are. And I totally believe that they are likely the main driving factors for migrations. But I’m also saying that these species might have another thing figured out. Letting go of attachment to one particular place helps you remember that home is where you make it. Shaking things up in your life makes you stronger – not just biologically (though that is true too – thanks genetic diversity!). Doing so heightens your reliance on yourself – your inner compass. Knowing that you carry the wisdom you need to make home anywhere you go is some pretty powerful stuff.
Who wouldn’t want to pass that on to their kids?
If you’ve followed me a while, you know that I am on a constant quest to get better at listening to my intuition. Time spent in the natural world, and time spent creating are the two ways that always seem to open up the connection to my inner compass. But this wisdom from the birds has reminded me of a third option – change things up. I don’t think you need to migrate across the country or even move 7 miles. But taking a different way home from work, exploring a new park, or even listening to a new genre of music could help open that door to your innate wisdom. Diversity is the spice of life. It’s what makes the natural world stronger, so it clearly holds the same key for us.
If you’d like to explore these ideas further, I’d love for you to join me in one of my upcoming Art Nights. We use creative play and look to the natural world for ways to tap into our innate wisdom and reconnect to natural rhythms. You can get more info and sign up right over here.
With love and gratitude,