Wednesday, March 20, 2013


"Squirrel Away", oil, by Linda Apple
     When I heard someone say recently that they were hoping to become more adaptable, I silently wished them well, because I’ve been working on that particular project for the better part of my life, with seemingly scanty results. Later, though, as I began to turn over the word in my mind, I started to see adaptability everywhere, and it slowly became clear that the entire universe, counting me, is constantly and effortlessly adapting. I recall watching from a window later that day as birds were winging their way across some backyards, and it was obvious that they were adjusting and restyling their flight to fit in to the flow of the winds. I glanced down to see several squirrels scampering here and there on the lawns, looking, it seemed, for food, and clearly modifying their movements moment by moment to make fresh discoveries. They seemed to be continuously redesigning their actions, almost like starting a completely new kind of search each second. It brought to mind so many of the other adaptations I’ve noticed in nature – the way clouds constantly reshape themselves as breezes blow among them, the way tree branches bend and lift to let the always-shifting winds pass through, and of course the way my old but still quick-witted body makes slight and clever changes as circumstances change. I didn’t choose to be adaptable; it’s just a gift I was given by this ever-versatile universe I’m lucky to belong to. 

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