Leviticus Rabbah, Kedoshim 25:5
"Who has put wisdom in batuchot? Or who has given understanding to the sechvi?" (Job 28:36) What is the meaning of batuchot? In the inward parts. Sechvi is a hen . . . The hen, when its young are tiny, gathers them together and places them beneath its wings, warming them and grubbing for them. But when they are grown up, if one of them wants to get near her she pecks it on the head and says to it: Go grub your own dunghill! So too during the forty years that Israel were in the wilderness, the manna fell, the well came up for them, the quails were at hand for them, the clouds of glory encircled them, and the pillar of cloud led the way before them. When Israel were about to enter the Land, Moses said to them: Let every one of you take up his spade and go out and plant trees. Hence it is written, "When you shall come into the land, you shall plant all manner of trees for food" (Lev. 19:23)
The very sage pediatrician who examined my newborn son, my firstborn, asked me what his temperament is like. My husband and I exchanged looks, and out poured our utter dismay at how to handle our colicky little treasure. I will never forget the doctor's words of advice: You know what to do. Listen to your gut instincts. You are already wise.
The mother hen teaches us much about parenting and treating each stage of life in its own way. The midrash teaches us too, not only for its grounding us in appreciating the way God has cared for us at our various stages of peoplehood and individual growth, but for reminding us to treasure our inner wisdom—the wisdom of our "inward parts" and the understanding of the sechvi—as a divine gift, a bit of God's stardust planted within us.