One day not too long ago, I was between shoulds and dealing with some strong emotions. I did not have enough time to go up into the mountains – the natural (so to speak) remedy for such conditions. In fact, I thought I didn’t have time for any sort of respite. Between errands, I drove past the entrance to a local park.
The car just turned in.
On its own.
I can take a hint.
I parked and wandered around until I found a spot with a clear view of a local lake (actually, a reservoir). There were people in the area but none close. I made my way down a gentle embankment to a good sitting rock on the edge of the water.
Just sitting, seeing, feeling the wind, and hearing the distant laughter of kids playing in the lake calmed me. I began to breathe more deeply. See more completely.
Even then, it took me a while before I noticed the duck family plying the shore to my right. Actually, I first saw only the parents. Gazing more carefully, I finally noticed the ducklings, fuzzed and swimming in erratic loops around their mom. [Their dad was always nearby but never close.]
I watched for a while. How many were there? They never stopped moving and their movements were not coordinated let alone choreographed. Plus, they were pretty far away.
So I watched. Maybe seven … no, eight. No, seven. It was very hard to figure out.
The family eased its way along the shore, coming closer.
Nine! At one point I counted nine ducklings. But then I couldn’t be sure. With great intensity, I focused on the little family. I knew I had to do it quickly because a young man was approaching. He’d scare them off.
Again, I counted. Yes! Nine ducklings. Confirmed.
The young man clambered down onto the beach and set up his gear for fishing. I eased myself off the sitting place and back up the embankment to my car, smiling to the fisherman en route.
When I got back into my car I felt washed clean – of superfluous emotions, and superfluous shoulds. I breathed more deeply and probably made more sense.
Nine ducklings can be the equivalent of time in the mountains.
Monday, June 4, 2012
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