- Education and Science
The Purpose of Hibernation: On Life’s Twists and Turns
If you scrutinize all natural phenomenon and the lives of great men, you will find that hibernation is common as a prelude to growth, development and discovery.
Bears are known for their seasonal hibernation but I am always fascinated by an eagle’s way of hibernating before it can finally soar higher up above the clouds and/or migrate to distant lands.
Certain types of eagles are prone to skin diseases and parasite pests’ infections that could cause falling out of their strong and powerful feathers.
This may not be seasonal like the bears but they do have some time of this type of mishaps. When this happens, this certain powerful eagle has an inherent will to continue living and would naturally and spontaneously do its self-healing procedures and processes over time.
It is only this certain eagle who becomes aware of its own predicament, nobody else know it; the symptoms include perennial itches on its skin, the gradual falling out of its feathers which in turn gradually lessens its power or natural prowess of soaring high like it used to do and worse, its awareness per se of its debilitating condition weakens its will to perform efficiently in its pursuit for food and other normally interesting activities; in short this eagle feels very sick.
Nature has its own mind and a natural way of self-healing; even this powerful bird has instinct strong enough to know what to do.
What this eagle does is to isolate itself from the rest and would find a secluded place where nobody can notice it for a given length of time as it performs its healing process. It would go to a secluded place in the forest where a clear stream is located. It would stay there as it scratches off the pests that infest its skin; then for several times a day over time it would wash off the pests by dipping in the crystal clear stream. This process would cause all its feathers to fall off until the bird becomes completely “naked” or featherless. Along with the balding would also go off all the infestations and the stream helps to clean its skin and heal the wounds over time.
Once the skin becomes healthy again, new sets of feathers will grow naturally.
This process would take a long period of time. We can see that this eagle does not only have the strong will to live but most important, it got such inherent wisdom and virtues of patience, endurance and persistence that eventually leads to a new life.
With its refreshed healthy skin, a new set of young and strong feathers, this eagle would come out from its hiding place and will soar higher than it used to do; with the renewed awareness of its self-reliance and ability to handle its situation and personal condition effectively and efficiently.
Application: My “Dark Ages” and the CMU (Central Mindanao University)
While I was in the IMS as a young missionary, I always had harbored the desire to one day become a Degree holder, particularly in the field of Commerce; but the more and deeper I thought of how this could happen the clearer also was the impossibility of its becoming considering my present situation at that time. There was nothing I can do but surrender to the fact that this desire would just remain a fantasy or a dream that can only thrive in the darkness of the night.
Given such a realization, I still continued to dream but the theme had changed. In the darkness of the night at bed time and before I finally drift to sleep, my mind could see myself living alone in a hut like a hermit in the wilderness.
I was 18 at the time and was in Luzon for my Missionary Assignments. Two years from then and in a very remote mountaintop in faraway Mindanao; I was 20 and very much pregnant with my first baby, when I actually was sitting on a big rock overlooking CMU down the widest plain in Bukidnon.
Despite this dark moment of my life, I was quietly “talking” to CMU, “One day I will be your student; I will be walking down the avenue of your University campus…”
I was 30 years old, married and having two beautiful children; 12 years since the birth of my “impossible dream” to hold a Degree, when I graduated BSBA-Economics as a scholar of the most prestigious State University in Mindanao.
Lots of twists and turns happened in the interim; but the dream had manifested, much better than I had originally dreamed.
We can soar high like an eagle if we have enough perseverance, patience, and persistence to see us through. The hazards and hassles along the way are just there to test our characters, virtues, loyalty to the dream, and ability to handle our individual situation and condition in a given time.