March 31, 2014

Reminders from the Mallard Duck Couple

There is no perfect time. There isn't a certain time when things settle down or the pieces all fit together. Things are what they are when they are.

The Mallard Duck Couple already knows this, as did all the other Mallard Duck Couples before them, I suppose. I only know this because I watched them as we walked by a narrow stream.

Standing in the stream's current was a hip-wadered fly fisherman.

Oblivious to water bubbling over rocks, gurgling past driftwood and moving through and around his hip waders, he gracefully cast and re-cast lines creating more ripples on which sunshine could dance.

That's when I noticed the Mallard Duck Couple. They weren't faring well in the current as fly-guy was. Beneath the water, their little orange feet were visible, and paddling fast and furiously against it, even as their bodies couldn't help but bob and dance along atop the water to the stream's rhythms.

But soon, their feet joined their bodies and gave in to the waltz, and they stopped paddling. Not with freak-out quacking. Not with a frantic "we're outta here" flight away. They chose to stop, to allow the stream to carry them until the current slowed down a bit. When it did, they calmly paddled out of the current and over to the place they wanted to be.

For good or bad, currents aren't just a part of life. Currents are life, including sickness, lippy eleven-year-old-girls (ahem), illness, working because you have to not because you want to, and any and everything else that keeps you up at night.

But there's also the good too: the smell of coffee brewing on a Saturday morning, listening to your child gab on the phone and remembering it was only a few years back that she learned her first word, laughing so hard your stomach aches, when your husband reaches for your hand just because..and of course, good hair days.

The Mallard Duck Couple has it right.

Life's currents can't be stopped; and sometimes paddling against them is necessary. Other times, you've just got to have sense enough to let them carry you until you're able to waddle off to the place you wanted to go in the first place.

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