Monday, May 24, 2010

Nature's Way ... or, Lending a Helping Hand?

I have written about the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of being connected with nature and the wonderful events that I have witnessed in our spectacular world. Usually, I am a benevolent bystander with no role except to be in heart-mind bliss as a natural adventure unfolds. This time it was different, and as I later recalled the law of nature – survival of the fittest – I wondered if what I did was appropriate.

About three weeks ago, I realized that for the third year in a row a quail couple had established a nest in one of the flower pots on my back patio. I was thrilled.

My attention was hooked early Sunday evening when I noticed the papa quail pacing back and forth on the patio wall. Mama quail was on the nest. I knew this because every five minutes or so she would loudly and emphatically express something that was obviously very important. It seemed to me that she really wanted papa quail to get her message, so the decibels gradually escalated. His responses were brief and calm.

I was in the house reading a book and could look up and see what was going on. After a couple of hours, the conversation and the behavior became more intense. Now the female was really loud and coming out of the nest every two minutes. The papa quail would then fly down to the ground and for a micro-minute each would pick at tiny seeds, fly into the nest for a split second and then make a hurried flight to the top of the patio wall. The female would pause for a second and then return to the nest and resume the ritualistic behavior of ducking in and out of the nest, while the male continued daddy-duty pacing the wall.

The situation seemed intense and I wondered if something was wrong, so I called several friends seeking advice. I also tried the Internet by googling “Nesting habits of Gambel quail,” and found nothing that would help me.

Just before dark, I saw the female return to the nest and evidently settle in because suddenly all was quiet. I couldn’t see the male, but assumed he maintained his vigil. When I awakened at sunrise, I hurried outside and found the nest abandoned, with three baby chicks peeping away and three eggs that hadn’t hatched and eleven empty shells. Evidently for some reason unknown to me the parents had no option but to leave in order to save the chicks that did make it out of the nest.

I ran to the computer and didn’t give up until I found a site that gave me a name and a local number to call for help. When Jeani Garrett, the director of Arizona Covey, a bird rescue and rehabilitation organization, answered the call, she told me exactly what to do and where to bring the three chicks and any un-hatched eggs as soon as possible.

Realizing that time was of the essence, I thought maybe the chicks had a better chance of making it than the still-intact eggs, so I picked them up with a spoon, placed them on a towel in a small box and made the 25-minute drive to the drop-off spot in 15 minutes. When I was halfway there, the chicks became quiet, and my heart skipped a beat, but after a few minutes the peeping returned and it was even stronger.

When Jeani answered the door, she immediately scooped up the three chicks and lovingly placed them in a huge glass aquarium. It was subdivided into an incubator, intensive care unit and a nursery that held about a hundred peeping and constantly moving baby quail. The sight and sounds lifted my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

She sent me back straightaway to retrieve the three un-hatched eggs. When I returned, she told me that the three hatchlings I had brought in only thirty minutes before were already out of ICU and peeping their way to health, and she also said the eggs would hatch in the incubator. With her expertise six baby quail would be saved.

On the more leisurely drive home, I wondered about intervening in the ways of nature. Had I allowed my emotions to get carried away and interfered in a way that wasn’t appropriate? Or, because I sense the unity and sacredness of all life in nature, was I simply allowing my inner guidance to direct my actions? I pray it was the latter.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “The Heart Knows the Way,” and “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” are available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's in Our Best Interest to Help Others ... and Not Just When There's a World Disaster

We all know that when a disaster happens anywhere in the world, the media coverage of our government’s obligatory financial largesse and the noteworthy contributions by a relatively small percentage of Americans makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. We are once again lulled into the false perception that individually and as a society we still look after each other on a daily basis. This may have been true once upon a time in our nation’s pioneer days, but it certainly isn’t the case now.

Many of us think of our current reality with sadness as we realize the vision that underscored the concept of America – creating a nation of people who would live by a code of conduct worthy of the mythical Camelot – is slipping through our fingers.

The truth is that the actions of a proportionally small number of generous and good Americans stand in marked contrast to our country’s prevailing attitude of every man for himself.

This unhealthy syndrome has reached pandemic proportions and has resulted in a startling erosion of empathy, ethics, morality and values in this country. This is evidenced by the number of individuals who no longer feel a twinge of conscience at trampling on the rights of others.

I believe this negative approach springs from an existing "poverty consciousness," which translates into thinking there isn’t enough, or won’t be in the future, of whatever we need or want. This plays out in everyday life as the acceptability and, even worse, the necessity of grabbing whatever we can by any means imaginable for survival – and too bad for anyone else.

It is way past time to take a sobering look at the ethical and moral decline in our country. And finding our way out of this undesirable situation will entail much more than pointing our fingers at political figures and others who have feet of clay – it is also about each of us. We must heal ourselves of this greediness disease in order to heal our country.

The simple truth is that we do live in an abundant universe that is based on fundamental laws such as the Law of Attraction. This means that we draw to us what we think and live individually, as well as on a national basis. What we express affects everyone else. If our expression is negative this is what we manifest in our lives. The opposite is also true, however, so when we act from our highest and best selves this positively affects our lives, as well as the lives of everyone else.

I believe the vision for America is still viable, we just lost sight of our responsibility as citizens and abdicated our attention for too long and the result has been disastrous.

The first step we must take is to individually select and adhere to the highest standards in all our interactions with others, publicly and privately.

We must also recognize the fact that fully realizing America’s spiritual destiny/potential will take the conscious commitment and dedication of each one of us.

I believe there are many millions of people here and abroad whose hearts and souls resonate with the words of the song from the movie “Camelot”: … Don’t let it be forgot/that once there was a spot/for one bright, shining moment/that was known as Camelot. We can’t let the light go out.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.