A Random Duck Day
Today, very randomly, there was a duck in our driveway.
We don't live that far from a couple of duck ponds (and goodness knows, there are a lot of creeks, lakes, rivers, ponds etc... in this part of New Jersey!) but we've never had a duck in our driveway before. It was exciting enough that I went and got my camera!
We wondered if he was lost.
We wondered if he was looking for his mate.
We wondered if he was hurt but mostly he seemed to be waiting for something patiently. Our stories about what he might or might not have been doing didn't make one whittle of difference.
And then Remy came out, and he was so excited (so! excited!), and the duck was (very right to be) made nervous by this bundle of excited (but holding back, but bouncing, bouncing, bouncing) five year old. Remy kept saying "Come here, duck!" but of course, the duck did not.
I looked away, turned back and the duck was gone. It had flown away.
That's the thing about random ducks, they're prone to disappearing just about as suddenly as they appear.
But it is fun to watch them while they are here.
And it is fun to look at the photos I took, even if some of them are a little blurry because I was focusing manually and the duck and the boy kept moving.
Random ducks are like life, you know? The moment passes, but we live in it while it is here and then when it is gone, we remember and we look back and some of it is a little fuzzy and some of it isn't.
We can choose to be perpetually sad about the duck leaving, or we can (after the shock of the duck flying away and the first hit of natural sadness wears off) choose to be happy the duck was here for as long as it was here.
I'm gonna choose happiness.
And maybe that's just part of my personality, but I know I could wallow. Some days I do. Some days, the depression of there being no more ducks gets to me. (Ducks, in this context, being a metaphor for whatever it is that I am missing or finding wrong in life.)
And I have to admit, yesterday was a wallowing day. I was upset and depressed and felt like nothing was going right, all at once. And I felt it and felt it (and oh how I felt it!) and I didn't know what to do to make it go away, so I just kept in it. And I didn't write and I didn't do any of the good processing things that I know I can do, but I felt it and that seemed to be what was needed most and then I went to bed, because sleep is good.
(I had just finished Wicked. Which was a wickedly depressing book, to me, having expected the bright shiny happy ending of the musical. And I know that bright, shiny happy endings aren't the norm and that there's something too made up and fake about them, but I wanted Elphaba to win. And she didn't. And it wasn't fair. So, the unfairness of life just hit me square in the face and I wallowed in it and was more depressed by it than maybe most people would be. I know, because I asked on facebook.)
But eventually, eventually, and am I so grateful to that duck today for helping me remember, eventually I remembered: ducks leave.
And I can choose to focus on the beauty that remains.
And that isn't a made up happy ending, that's just life. There is beauty all around us. I can choose to focus on what is gone, or I can choose to focus on what I see right here, right now.
And despite all the sadness and brutality of the world, and how very very much it hurts sometimes, it is still beautiful beyond measure.
Some days are wallowing days and some days are days to remember: ducks leave but beauty remains.
What kind of day is today, for you?
What kind of day do you want it to be?