I like birds, though admittedly I tend to prefer them at a distance. I like watching them fly. I like wondering about the rules that dictate their flight path: their destination of course, and also the shape of the wind, and its layered temperatures, and which way it pushes. I wonder how they perceive the air. I doubt that it has color or sound of anything similar to our senses, but I think they must be a definite thing for them, not just a vague sensation as it is for us.
Flocks of birds, of course, are even more fun to watch. They look entirely disorganized and random, but the behavior of a flock can be modeled using only a few lines of computer code. They delicately balance the demands of a few basic needs, constantly shifting and adjusting to reach equilibrium.
Sometimes I feel like that, especially since the baby was born. It comes up in social dynamics – I constantly have a running list of which family members have held the baby recently, and for how long, and whether she was in a good mood or a bad one, and when they next will be able to hold her. And at every family gathering and every social function it comes into play – who gets her first, when I take her back, who I seek out and who I let come to us. And, of course, whether it would be better to keep her with us after all, despite others’ willingness to hold her, because she is tired and cranky and will be calmer with us.
Sometimes, of course, one cannot reach equilibrium and have to change the parameters of the problem. This weekend Beauty needed a nap, and I was pretty certain she needed to scream for a bit first, but Hero was with us and when she cried I could feel him getting tense, which naturally made me tense. So I told him to go read in another room, so that she could have her cry without making us tense. And it worked.
People wonder why God allows bad things to happen. I don’t know. But I do know that seemingly chaotic behavior generally has its root in these balancing acts we all perform, adjusting for various factors as they shift in turn. I believe that God is the Ultimate Balance, the Foundation of Order, creating equilibrium out of every atom, every photon, every emotion and thought and need. No wonder it looks random.
Breathe deep. Seek peace. Fly high.