Peep (Tarot of Michelle)

I must separate the essential from the noise, and determine whether action or patience is needed.

The story of “Peep” begins in my back yard, in the spring. When baby birds start peeping and following their parents around the yard, it’s pretty cute. There are times though when the perpetual “peep peep peep peep” goes on for hours and hours, and it starts to get on my nerves. I wonder, “Hasn’t that tiny bird been fed enough yet?!?” and “How much can a tiny bird eat?!?” and “Doesn’t that baby bird ever take naps?!?”

Illustration by the author

Just when I think I’m going to go insane from the repetitive pipping and peeping, the birds mosey off. And I realize it must have been like that for my parents, my mother especially, when my brother and I were little! 

Many years ago, on a camping trip, the three of us were awakened very early by a bird squawking in the top of a nearby tree. We looked and looked, but couldn’t see the bird or tell exactly where it was yelling from. Desperate to sleep a little longer, we threw rocks in the general direction and yelled our heads off. Of course this had no effect on the bird whatsoever. Only the passage of time encouraged it to move on from its morning routine.

“Peep” is a reminder to reach just a little farther for just a little more patience with an irritating situation. It will change eventually, it really will. I don’t have to piss anybody off, or make an enemy, or be snarky, or throw rocks, or chase away cute little birds; I just have to wait it out a tiny bit longer.

“Peep” is also a reminder to ignore the noise, and listen instead for what’s essential. It’s said that ICU nurses know exactly which beeps and lights they can ignore, and which ones they must respond to. I need to get better at doing the same.

“Peep” also reminds me that what can seem dysfunctional, is actually functional. That’s why I need to pay attention. My dad used to say, “The squeaking wheel always gets the grease.” The squeak isn’t the problem; the bearings need lubrication! Beings of all species are programmed to respond to high-pitched noises from young ones. The peeping isn’t the problem; the youngster needs something!

As with a smoke detector, peeping alerts to a need or problem. I need to pay attention and decide whether action or patience is what’s required.

A story behind one of the cards in The Tarot of Michelle. Follow the developmental art as a Patron on Patreon.

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