As the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus nature has a celebration of her own… the birth of her young. ‘Tis the season for babies in Africa.
The warm sun drives out the fresh green leaves. If the earth is blessed with rain the bush can be transformed overnight from drab grey to brilliant emerald hues. From seeming death to apparent life.
When grasses begin to grow and leaves return to the naked trees another miracle begins. Heavy round females slip away from their companions. They find a secluded unpretentious spot to give birth.
Most of these newborns briefly test out their wobbly legs and then are ready to run. Because, like their mother, survival depends on the ability to escape and flee.
Some years ago in Swaziland we quietly watched a young lion cub get a bath from mum (much like a domestic cat.) In Amboseli, Kenya, we came upon a minutes old wildebeest getting familiar with his legs and how to operate them. More recently in the Kruger National Park we stopped to watch tiny Elephant calves being kept close by their mothers, Impala lambs frolicking, little Zebra suckling, Buffalo calves with tiny emerging horns, curious Giraffe youngsters watching, baby Monkeys playing and fledgling Birds fussing to be fed.
With new birth come warm fuzzy feelings. Advertisers and marketers frequently uses images of babies of all varieties to connect to potential customers. “Awe how sweet!” Bet you’ve found yourself saying that!
New life in nature moves us, touches our hearts. Possibly it’s tied to a longing for Hope. Hope for a brighter future despite the struggles and pains of today.
How similar is this to the message of Christmas. The Christ child bringing the world hope and peace in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil around us.
May you experience the gift of Hope as “all of nature sings.” After all, ‘tis the season for babies and Hope.