A few weeks ago now, a pair of mating mallard ducks came to visit us in our pond. Our 'pond' which is really nothing of the sort yet, but rather a work in progress we began last summer and will continue this summer, just as soon as we find the right day on which to rent and play with a bulldozer (oh boy). But regardless of its officialness (or not), these two ducks paid a visit to our not-so-fancy, nor-so-deep and wide "pond"...and then decided to stay for a while. For a good long two weeks they were here.
Of course, I was happy she was so fully and beautifully entertained. But I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a little worried that they would stay here and actually nest. A pessimist, I am not, but a realist on this young farm of ours, yes. All the possible scenarios with these silly little ducks played out in ways less than wonderful in my mind - the "pond" I knew would soon dry up, the fox would surely find them soon, or gosh, what if it were her beloved cat in some gruesome duckling scene she'd have to witness? Or, best case I suppose, what if they flew off and didn't nest here as she was so desperately hoping?
I'm her Mama, this is what I do. We Mamas run through all the possible outcomes. We worry sometimes. And we do what we can to protect those tender hearts of theirs. But sometimes, we forget that the outcome isn't really what matters. Or at least, that it pales in comparison to what came before. And that those tender hearts are huge and strong too.
The ducks didn't nest here. One morning, we looked out and they were just gone. The weather shifted, an energetic party of kids here the day before might have scared them off, or perhaps they just got word that the lovely 'pond' they were settling into was soon to be nothing more than a trench. Who knows, really. I do know that Adelaide was disappointed. For a moment she was genuinely sad. And a moment later, she was skipping to the sheep pasture to teach Cinnamon a new trick. Those ducks are a story now, inspiration for her art, fodder for her imagination, information for her growing knowledge of animals, and a sweet little childhood memory. And a very fond reminder of some good spring days, well spent.
I learn from these little ones every day, I really do.