The church duck was eaten by a hawk last Tuesday afternoon. She’d come back for a second spring to nest and lay her eggs in the flowerbed near our parking lot. We’ve felt really honored she chose us. The day she died was awful for everyone involved, except the hawk. By everyone involved I mean the duck, five women, two mockingbirds and ten unborn ducklings. Nine of the eggs made it safely to an incubator at Wild Care.
Some people left and the rest of us gathered the nest and eggs into a box. Wild Care wasn’t answering their phone so we googled whether broody chickens would hatch duck eggs. Yes. So we loaded them up and I transferred them to my henhouse. Sadly I dropped one egg in the process and discovered that the babies are about half formed but, joyfully, still moving. I had to write “duck” on the other nine so we didn’t get them mixed up with my blue chicken eggs. Then Wild Care did call back to say that it probably wasn’t the best plan to let my chickens hatch them since ducks need to be near water so soon after birth. So I reloaded them into the car and delivered them to the Wild Care facility over on the west side of town.
I was queasy the rest of the day and still can’t bring myself to eat an egg. I’m trying not to be mad at the hawk, though I pointed out to him that he is welcome to all the chipmunks he can eat as they are destroying our retaining wall. Besides that, I’m as much a carnivore as him. I’ve thought plenty about violence too. About how little violence I witness in a year. About how if bird-on-bird violence leaves me queasy, how do people even breathe in places like Syria, Iraq, Gaza and South Sudan. And whether it turns God’s belly seeing people kill people for sport?
Surely it must mean something when everyday life is so safe and so sheltered? Above all else, don’t whine. Nip the inclination to complain before it ever finds a voice. Be thankful. Be grateful. Be kind. Be generous. Be glad to have another day in such beauty. And pray for those who can only dream of it. Pray for peace in their land and joy in their lives.
~ peace & prayers,