Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Love of a Duck

Sometimes when I have not written for a long time, it can be hard to begin. There is much to say, stories to recount, emotions and revelations and illuminations to share. It's overwhelming to attempt a summary of all that has occurred from where I was to where I am now. Do I begin where I ended, do I try to share the bits of stories that have been floating around in my head for the last months? I'm afraid that doing so would require a post way longer than I am prepared to write (or you, dear reader, are prepared to read).  

So let's just forget all that's been; let's start here in this moment.

In this moment I am sitting on the couch, computer in lap, husband at work, kids asleep. The house is neither clean nor tidy, but I can ignore it. I am feeling inspired by my birthday present from my husband, a book of all of my Healing Feminine posts. There is indescribable satisfaction in the solid form of my creative energy, the heft of it so real in my hands, compared to the floating fluff out in the internet ether. I thumb through the pages, looking at photographs, finding posts I had forgotten I'd written. I am a little awestruck by all those words. Did they really come from me? Might there be a few more?

I just mentioned that my book was a birthday present. This is correct. I just celebrated my 30th birthday. Being 30 makes me feel both old and young. Old, because I have now entered a new decade, a decade that seemed pretty darn old not so long ago. Scrutinizing my face in the mirror, I notice the emerging lines (of laughter, of tears, of life), the visible dots of my pores. I try to use eye cream, but my skin rebels. I've always maintained that aging is a beautiful thing, that I will welcome the transformation of my body, but the truth is that only now am I catching a glimpse of the loss of youth. Which makes many of my friends laugh at me, and which takes me to my second point. That turning 30 also makes me feel young. Because I am still young, relatively. And my husband and the majority of my friends are older than me, so I remain the younger one. But no matter my age, I must say that I feel really good, especially on an emotional and spiritual level [physically, I do feel my age]. I like being 30. It feels sexy somehow, despite the signs that I am indeed getting older.
I had a fabulous birthday week. The grand finale was a night out dancing in Portland, surrounded by beloved friends and family. It was perfect. But there was a tradeoff for that good time, an ebb of tide to follow the flow. Tragedy is not usually foreseen, a lesson I have learned many times on our farm. Sometimes it just sneaks up on you in the dark of night, as quietly as an important task can slip the mind. We make mistakes, as we humans are apt to do, as did the human caring for the farm in our absence. Our ducks were not closed in their secure house at night, a mistake that could have, and has, passed by unnoticed, but which did not go unnoticed that night.

In the morning, one little duck was left alone, loudly lamenting the loss of her two friends. She still searches the yard, the garden, down by her pool, hoping that the others have just found some cozy place to curl up. I am afraid she will search in vain, for the other two are not napping, but have most likely filled the bellies of some hungry raccoons. I hope those raccoons were very, very grateful for their meal.

I, for one, felt the pain of loss deep in my center as soon as I heard the news. My ducks were more than just farmhands, patrolling for slugs and gifting us with eggs. Perhaps you think me silly to mourn my lost ducks. You might say they were just ducks, after all. Surely worse things had happened in the world that day. But every being has a spirit, and my spirit was connected to those ducks. I've had more mystical experiences with them than with almost any other animal on our farm. So laugh if you will, and I will just have compassion for you, poor thing who has never loved a duck.

Since this story of loss follows another story of loss, I am going to end with something beautiful. Picture this: it is a bitterly cold winter day, even as the sun shines down. I am sitting on our front porch, the only place where I can capture the warmth of golden light. Besides the chickens scratching around in the garden bed beside me, I am alone. Eyes closed, deep in peaceful meditation, I am suddenly inspired to Om. So I do, eyes remaining closed, love beaming out from my center. And when I've finished and opened my eyes, I see that the ducks have joined me. Standing in front of me, their backs to me, their heads turned as they gaze with wise eyes, they form a triangle. The white one is at the top, the black one to my left, brown one to my right. I see them and burst into tears. They stand guard, my angels in disguise, as I release heaving sob after heaving sob. Every time I stop, I see them and start crying all over again, until I'm done. Cleansed. Then they walk over to me and nibble my fingers with their gentle ducky bills.

Blessings to you, Iemanja and Yansa. I am so grateful to have known you.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! This is Miranda... you got Phantom from me. I seem to have misplaced your info. Please email me at mirandarides@comcast.net. I'd love to get an update of Phantom!