|Mother and baby sloth in Costa Rica|
It's Sunita here.
On a recent visit to the south western part of Costa Rica, I was delighted to see a fair number of sloths over the time I was there. Sloths are slow moving mammals that live in tree tops. They come down from their sky-high perches only once a week to relieve themselves. Like many animals that live in nature alongside their predators, sloths blend in with their enviornment due to the good camouflage provided by their bodies. As elusive as they are, once you spot a sloth in a tree, the risk of them moving out of your sight before you can take photographs is non existent. They just don't move much and if they do, it's so slow that there is no risk of them moving out of your frame.
So my husband Tim, who is photography enthusisist, was in sloth heaven as he went about The Sloth Institute at Telemar with his camera. Both two and three-toed sloths inhabit the preserved area where the Institute exists and he was able to get many great shots of different sloths. This photograph however caught my attention in a special way.
The mama sloth is hanging on a branch in the tree canopy on which she had chosen to stay put at for a while. She is hanging upside down with her baby laying across her belly. Sloths have a gestation period of six months and give birth to one baby sloth at a time. The baby 'sticks' with the mother for the first six months of their life during which time it bonds with her and learns from her.
This photograph immediately and unconsciously depicted to me all the characteristics of a good 'Attachment'.
It shows a parental figure (here we could safely assume it is the mother) who is physically close to her child. There's not much closer the baby sloth could be sticking to it's mama.
It's hanging upside down while the baby is unconcerned and unaffected by it's mother's position. It is securely attached to the mama sloth's belly.
The baby sloth looks like it is fully trusting of it's mother and is sprawled on her body with no concerns of having to 'fit' into any given space. There is an openness and abandon to any spacial restrictions that I perceive in the expansiveness and comfort level in the body language of the baby sloth.
There are no predators around the Sloth and her baby as she hangs high in the canopy, well camoflaged from predators like eagles and jaguars.
All the markings of a secure attachment are evident in this photograph.
And that is what got my attention when I saw it. I just hadn't worked it all out as I have here.
I leave you today with these questions.
How does your attachment with your children compare to what is seen in this photograph?
What kind of barriers do you face to being the parent you want to be and what you know your children deserve?
How does your attachment with your intimate partner and close friends compare to what is seen in this photograph?
What kind of barriers do you face to being the intimate partner and close friend you want to be?
Wishing you a week of reflection and hopefully an opportunity to 'stick' with someone you love :)
Be well Do well Live well
Photograph credit : Timothy J. Carlsen