One Good Tern Deserves Another

Back to the Arctic Terns.

I have to celebrate these little wonders one-more-time with one-more-painting, because they are so first-rate-exceptional.

See that tiny fragile egg in the corner of the painting? Well, it’s a miracle that egg even survives and hatches into a baby Arctic Tern. So tiny and fragile and exposed to the elements, however, most survive because both male and female alternate sitting on the nest. Both birds equally invested. I like that parenting style. There’s a good survival rate with that one.

Terns lay their eggs on the open terrain of beaches. How dangerous is that?  Against all odds, their babies hatch into tiny creatures who ride the sea-winds within 21 days of their emergence. Holy cow, they really put us humans to shame here. Within 21 days we’re still unable to hold up our blasted heads!

Riding the air currents between the Arctic and the Antarctic, these creatures see more sunlight and travel greater distances than any other animal on earth, over 59,500 miles a year. They are the nomads of the animal kingdom, never able to stay in one place very long. If they wore clothes, I’d say they had ants-in-their-pants.

Some people call them sea swallows. Whenever I’m at the beach, I love to watch them dart back and forth between the sky and the sea, as if stitching the horizon line into place. They look like they’re having the best time… and who would argue after watching a playful tern doing her aerial acrobatics?

I don’t know about you, but this whole Arctic Tern thing just takes my breath away.

You know how we humans tend to migrate toward other humans to find our answers? We look for gurus, and teachers, and mentors, and wise ones and heavy books of knowledge… but in many of ways, if we would just take a good long look at the land, and the sea, and the skies, nine times out of ten, we’d find everything we need to know, including lifestyle decisions, parenting advice, and finding the true meaning of life.

You see these terns don’t fret about their travels, or criticize their young, or contemplate the universe, they just keep on soaring the heights, stitching the sky to the sea, and following the light. I don’t know about you, but I think I found a lot of answers to life’s big questions as I watch these spunky, determined Arctic Terns do their thing.  



PS, SweetArts, if you’re on Instagram, go give me a follow. I’m at  I post lots of new work there that I don’t show anywhere else.