“Connectedness. One thing leads to another. Often in unexpected ways.” ~ Holly Goldberg Sloan
Thursday August 1, 2019. Today was supposed to be like any other day. I had a doctor’s appointment, and a couple of errands to run. When I was done at my doctor’s appointment, I decided to take some pictures of the river that goes through town, and next to my doctor’s office.
As I walked over to the river’s edge, I noticed a female mallard duck pacing, and quacking up a storm. At first I assumed that she was protecting a nest of eggs. When I heard duckling peeps, I figured she was protecting her youngins. I took a couple pictures of her, and walked a few yards away to take a few more pictures. As I was walking back, the duck was still there, but now her quacking almost sounded frantic, and she seemed very distressed. Again I heard the duckling peeps, and tried to find where it was coming from.
I quickly realized that the sound was coming from an in ground pipe that was in the cement wall at the river’s edge.
Using the flashlight on my cell phone, I looked in the pipe, and sure enough, about 4 feet down, there was one little duckling stuck at the bottom. I didn’t think that I could reach it, I gave it a try anyway hoping that I could grab the poor thing gently by the head then scoop it into my hand better. I knew duckling bites wouldn’t hurt, and I didn’t care what could be in the pipe, so I stuck my entire arm into the pipe. Unfortunately, arm wasn’t long enough. The duckling was just out of my reach.
I was determined to save the little tyke, so I went to my car to find something, anything that I could use to safely get the duckling out of the pipe The first thing I saw was the extendable scooper that I use for glass picking when the waves are rough, or my back hurts. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was worth a try.
The basket fit perfectly in the pipe. At that point, my mind raced with questions. Would there be enough room for the duckling to get in the basket? If so, would it stay in the basket long enough for me to get it out? Can I get it out successfully without hurting it? Mama is really pacing and quacking up a storm. Will she come, and peck the hell out of my backside? Does she know I’m trying to rescue her baby?
I push my thoughts aside, held my breath, and gave it my best.
Mama flew back into the river still furiously quacking, and for whatever reason, started swimming away. I turned my attention back to rescuing the baby, and carefully lowered the scooper down the pipe. It was a narrow opening, and I must have tilted the scooper just right because the duckling hopped into the basket. I had to suppress my excitement, though. I didn’t want to risk doing the slightest thing wrong, and end up hurting, or losing the little tyke.
As I carefully pulled the scooper back up, the duckling just sat in the basket calmly, as if it knew I was rescuing it. When I was confident of my impending success, I grabbed my camera, and tried to get some pictures along with a little video to memorialize the event. It wasn’t my best work, but it also wasn’t easy to hold the scooper in one hand, and take pictures with the other. I was more concerned about the duckling, so I got what I could.
When the basket was about an inch from the top, the duckling hopped out of the basket, ran away from me, and over the edge of the wall. My heart sank. It was about a 5-6 foot drop down to the water, but there were large boulders down below. I rushed over to the edge to see where the duckling landed. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw that it missed the boulders, and landed in the river. I was also relieved that the duckling appeared uninjured. To jump out of the basket, make a mad dash to the edge of the river, plunge 5-6 feet down into the river, and swim with lightning speed to its mama, it must have made it through its ordeal unscathed.
What happened next was more rewarding than anything I can think of. How it knew, I’ll never know, but as if by instinct, the duckling zipped up the river in the direction that mama went. As I watched, I was grateful to see that mama was still in the area. She flew from her vantage point to her baby, and put it under her wing(pun intended 😉), despite the fact that my scent was probably on her baby. Together they swam off out of view, presumably to rejoin the rest of the flock.
Still amazed at what had happened, I picked up my gear, and looked around to see if anyone had seen what had just happened, and saw no one. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t looking for praise. Just seeing mama, and baby duck reunited was reward enough. When I got in my car, I just sat, and reflected on the chain of events over the last hour. An instant gratitude list of the chain of events over the previous couple of hours formed in my mind.
When I started writing this, it was to help me remember the event in case I forgot it someday. As I was rereading my words, and thought about my gratitude list, something else came to mind that can be summed up in one word. Interconnectedness. You see, I’m a firm believer that nothing happens by chance. Everything in life is connected in one way, shape, or form. There was a reason for the only open parking spot was next to the river, and that I decided to take some pictures. Heck, there’s a reason for you reading this now.
My point is that “stuff” happens in life. Whether it’s good, or bad, we have choices of what to do with this “stuff”. It’s also important to keep other people around us in mind, and how our choices will affect them, especially the next seven generations. This doesn’t apply to only people. This also applies to the environment around us. We can improve life with our choices, or make it worse. The choice is ours.
Thought for the day: What choices will you make today? Will they be positive, and helpful, or will they be negative, and hurtful?
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