Galapagos joy, day 4: egg

By Ingrid Fetell Lee


Eggs are a very joyful form. They represent possibility, new life, things full of energy waiting to burst out into the world and get moving. The form itself is symmetrical, balanced, and whole, suggesting comfort and stasis. But in reality an egg is just a moment in time, a moment representing potentiality rather than completion.

Can you remember back to when you first learned that birds hatched from eggs? Can you remember when you first saw it on a nature program or, if you were lucky, on a farm? Or even luckier, in the wild? It was magical. In one second, there was this hard, smooth, perfect surface, and then in another, there was a beak poking out, and then shortly after there was a real, whole birdlet cradled in a jagged egg-cup. In cooking we break an egg from the outside-in, but when you see it the way it was designed to be opened, it is startling and wonderful.

I wish I could say I saw this egg hatch, but sadly, this egg will never hatch. It was abandoned. But knowing that fact was still hard to reconcile with my visceral reaction to the sight of an egg, and all the joyful potential it represents.

August 16th, 2009


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