No Sacrifice

Consider the silver maple in early spring.

Still barren of leaves for weeks to come and wanting nutrition since fall, it draws from scarce reserves to manifest thousands of seeds in fantastic propeller pods. Only after this epic act does it make leaves for it’s own sustenance.

Contemplate the Emperor Penguin.

Fasting for an entire season, he shelters a single egg-then-chick on foot for three months, taking on weather and relentless hunger, vigilant that the egg not roll to icy ground and certain demise.

Next, ponder the mom who assures the family that she doesn’t really care for pie, not because she doesn’t like pie, but because there are eight portions, and nine people around the table each evening.

And there is the dad who right now is driving cross country through the night to ransom his daughter from harm’s way.

Flora and fauna –

doing what they do:

sprouting seeds in a surge of effort,

shouldering snowstorms,

skipping desserts for a generation of dinners,


driving all night after working all day.

Heroic acts?


but they are mostly

routine devotions

of parenthood

happening every moment

without hestitation or fanfare.

Investing in more than oneself

is participating


a promise

beyond measure.

And what you get in return?

Oh, so worth it.


4 thoughts on “No Sacrifice

  1. I like the way you built your argument. Key lines for me were: “Investing in more than oneself
    is to participate
    a promise
    beyond measure”
    You summed up the love, self-sacrifice and value ascribed to these actions in this beautiful counterbalanced sentence.


  2. OMG, I absolutely loved this! I’m tearing up! So well written and the subject, just so good. I really liked “Only after this epic act of selflessness does it make leaves for it’s own sustenance.” I never really thought about how it’s using its food to make babies before it feeds itself! So cool. However, I also loathe my maple trees for all of their babies in my yard…but I digress, lol.

    Also, that quote is so true for parenthood as well.

    Great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I never really thought about it either, but this whole slice stemmed (ahem) from me noticing the plethora of seeds our maples are putting out, way before they start the leaves. So remarkable to me how they must dig down so deep and muster the energy after a long winter to do that. And then there’s the animals and humans too, of course. I often say that parenting is not for for faint of heart, but it ahhhh – the payoff is great no matter what. Just to have been given the chance to love like that – so amazing to me.


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