A couple of nights ago, from a cabin on the Metolius River, I watched a little scene unfold. It probably happens millions of times, on thousands of rivers and lakes, but on this night it was my entertainment for the evening. A mother duck, with six ducklings, swam upstream until they all reached a tree that had landed in the middle of the river. Draped across the rushing water, a few branches permanently came to rest about two feet above the surface of the stream. Mama duck settled them all in a row on a lower branch while she stood vigil a few inches above them. Her ducklings were not small. They all would be on their own in a few months, but for now, on this night, they "made camp."
The metaphor came at the right time for me.
A week earlier, I got the news that my landlords were separating and I'd have 30 days to find a new place. Right out of the blue. After the initial shock, something kicks in and we realize the impermanence, we compare with others less fortunate, and slowly begin to empower ourselves to do the work of finding a safe place to stay. Like mama duck, it's instinctive.
Lately it seems I've endured an invasion of metaphors. Or maybe it's just that I've become more aware of them given the current state of affairs.
And then there is this stunningly beautiful river, the Metolius. It springs from the side of a mountain and runs for miles and does it all through beautiful forests and mountains. Day and night, all year long, year after year, century after century.
I never knew that ducks could swim against a swift current so easily.
More to follow...