Friday, July 24, 2009

DUCK DEFEATS DOG: Seeing Nature's Courage

At sunset, walking along Carte Madera Creek, I spotted a mother duck leading six duckings in classic formation. To my left, a huge dog, a Labrador, charged down the bank, leaped into the water and paddled toward the ducks. The mother quacked wildly and sped away, the ducklings in swift tow. The dog pursued them. From my right, an egret, white wings spread wide, squawked and swooped over the dog. Undeterred, the dog gained on the ducks. Still quacking, the mother duck wheeled around and charged at the dog. The egret circled and swooped at the dog again. The dog turned and head for shore. Two ducks flapped into the scene and planted themselves, wing to wing, in the water between the dog and the mother with her ducklings. The dog climbed onto the bank and shook the water from his fur.

When I usually walk along this waterway I delight in the beauty and variety of the birds gathering food, preening their feathers and gliding the air currents. To see this individual and collective show of courage opened a connection I can't put into words yet. It has something to do with the shared journey of the soul dwelling on the earth, something to do with what connects us through our different appearances as ducks, dogs, egrets and humans.

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