I’ve written an (as yet unpublished) book of letters about motherhood, & remember while working on it having been struck by the image of a mother duck, swimming along in the water with her brood.
I envied her – and I think she can be an inspiration to us, as mothers – and parents – and…well… people in general.
Mother Duck knows her job. It’s really quite straightforward.
Raise the ducklings.
Feed them – teach them how to find food and protect themselves from predators.
That’s Mother Duck’s job. Raise the brood. Set a good example.
No worrying about corporations and governance, profits and losses, stock market gyrations, competition, shopping, clothes, weight gain or loss, in-laws, keeping up with the Joneses, Things ‘R Us.
Raise the brood.
Does she conceive of this is an “important” job? Or does she just do it – as best she can? Following her instincts – passing on the lessons she learned from her own mother, and from ducks immemorial, down through the millennia?
Are ducks neurotic?
I don’t think so.
Eckhart Tolle has pointed out (in his book The Power of Now – A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment) that when ducks get into a “flap,” they recover very quickly.
They do a lot of wing-flapping, swim off, and then simply get on about their business.
They do not appear to carry around “stories” – “Oh poor me” victim stories – or resentments. They are not weighed down by the past, or consumed with unrealistic expectations of the future; at least, it certainly does not appear to be so.
They live in the moment – in the Now.
I think we’d all do well to muse occasionally on ducks – on Mother Duck and her calm certainty about her role with her offspring – and on her fellow ducks who recover so quickly from their little “flaps.”
Many challenges lie ahead for us, fellow humans.
Can we be “unlimited” – like the ducks?
I think we can…if we try…
P.S. As I’ve written elsewhere, I believe we humans have vast, uncharted potential. We’re capable of far more than most of us realize. One of my favourite quotations is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “What lies behind us and what lies ahead are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I keep thinking this would be a mighty fine time for us to learn how much we’re really capable of…hmm?
P.P.S. If the state of the world scares the heck out of you, please consider reading the essay “Despair and Empowerment.”
P.S. # 4: btw, the phrase "Ducks Unlimited" is one perhaps not familiar to readers everywhere. In Canada the name refers to an organization that works to preserve duck habitat. I don't know a lot about the Ducks Unlimited group - but realize belatedly now that non-Canadian readers may not have "twigged" to that reference.