She appears childless and although it may be time for her young ones to have left the nest, I wonder. In the weeks prior she lost several little ones, I've been told, to the snakes with whom she shares these waters.
This is not how I anticipated spending my time just before bed yet on this Friday night this mother duck reminds me of mothers in African countries half way around the world for whom loosing a child is just part of the package of life. Somali mothers even as I write are having to choose between leaving their most vulnerable on the roadside to die so she and other children can walk on to live. I think of Asian mothers who send their child daughters to the city to make money to bring back to the family not realizing these daughters will be used for sex trafficking and won't be coming back. And those who at times escape to come home, are so addicted to drugs intentionally by their owners that they return to life in the city. I think of American mothers who live on the streets homeless with their children. Then there is my grandmother long gone, Sarah who carried her first child for ten months after the doctor when called said it wasn't time when my grandmother knew it was past time. How was it for her to walk around in her life knowing she carried a child whose life passed inside her? I suspect something inside her passed too although she lived on.
I fell asleep last night holding in my heart feathered mothers and human and yes, many fathers who mother, their hearts broken and bruised.
Inside I am happy and sad. Two months ago there were five; four weeks ago three, at the week's end two and now one.
This one glides along by its mother reminiscent of pairs figure skaters. She turns. Her baby turns. She shakes. The baby shakes. This is how it's done.
I awoke this morning still mourning, not wanting to get out of bed. My insides detached and sad wondering how mothers do it. How do they go through their day?
Now my heart glimpses what may be a bit of the how in the sweetness of this moment. My emotions are soothed by the sight below me of this feathered mother and child floating past.
I did not grow up Catholic at least in this life, but this pair evokes a wonder regarding the Mother and Child known through history, the Mother Mary and Jesus and the many carvings I saw in France whose origins are unknown.
Some say he holds the earth. When gardening, I'm certain he holds a seed. This morning I suspect he holds the circle as a reminder of the cycling of sorrow turned into love when held in the heart's core.
On second thought, it's all of this and more. Kin to what Paul Simon sang in "Mother and Child Reunion" it is only a motion away and it is happening here, right now on this the Garden we call Mother Earth as we, her children, carry the transformative seeds.