My Neighbors

Ducks in my Pond

It’s the park pond after all. The pond is almost frozen over except where running water is pumped into a pool leading to a stream that flows under a bridge. I have to cross that bridge when I walk to the Metro. This morning I was going to church because today is the Sunday of the parable of the Prodigal Son. I have also been much affected by news of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and so needed to go to church. I often don’t go to church because my teen- aged grandchildren have developed the habit of sleeping over on Saturday night. It’s hard to detach from them in time for church. This morning I managed it.


And here on the way were many ducks, out of the water and exceptionally wandering around on the path. I often thought of this flock of ducks during our harsh winter and particularly during the intense cold of last weekend. Their webbed feet, their difficulty in finding food, all nagged at me. And here they were, rushing towards me asking for food, it seemed to me! I didn’t have anything to give them and so, foolishly perhaps, I promised them that I would bring them something from church.

Church was wonderful but a little tiring. I was the only soprano, and I felt a bit submerged by two young altos and two male singers. We had a talented and courageous fill-in conductor so I was on my toes all during service. Basically the soprano’s job is to carry the tune and I lost the plot a few times so that some unusual harmony only versions of well known pieces emerged.

The Prodigal Son and his father and brother sustained me. I admit sometimes to wondering what Mum was up to and to a deep sympathy for the older brother. Of course, the turning point of the story is when the ( anti) hero “ came to himself”. The awakening, the realization that things can be fixed, that courage, action, humility can cause a wonderful outcome, is such an electrifying moment for me.

Back to the ducks… I had to keep my promise and I did. I gave them blessed bread from church. Traditionally one takes a piece of this bread for someone at home, someone who cannot take communion. I don’t really understand why water is blessed. I think it’s such a blessing and in fact, blesses us all the time. In the same way, ducks don’t take communion but they’re in communion all the time, I think. I’ll bring them more ordinary bread tomorrow. I have to salute their courage , after all.

PS those are the new boots, by the way!