A duck came into the pool about a month or so ago. She thought the pool looked awesome, and while our backs were turned, she built up a nest. Then she laid her eggs, and boom! We had a duck in the pool. Thankfully, federal regulations have them as protected, so nobody was allowed to do anything to that duck. I had no problem swimming in the pool knowing a duck had also taken a dive because I had been raised on a lake. I've swum with frogs, ducks, fish, snakes, and alligators. A) I'm alive and B) I never got sick from that. This time, I'm swimming with a duck with some chlorine in the water. Nope. I didn't care.
What astounded me, though, was the day the ducklings hatched.
On any given day, my leasing agents concentrated on difficult renters. Or broken dumpsters. Or rent that was due. Or the fact that the doggie poo station had no bags. Or bigger issues, of course, like their salaries...the state of the US economy...our troops in Afganistan...huge stuff, right?
But the day the ducklings hatched, the leasing agents (and me, and several other tenants) became focused only on the ducklings. Yes, small children were starving to death all over the world. Troops were dying far away from American soil. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico was killing wildlife and fishing. Children were being abused. Animals were being maltreated. But nothing else mattered...there were ducklings.
Small, fuzzy, peeping cute balls of fluff.
Calls were made to wildlife to get them to a safe place. The staff hung out near the pool all day, coaxing them with bread along a ramp of wood back to their nest that they could not reach without assistance. After all, momma duck wasn't bright and picked out a place that she could get to with a hop, but tiny dark balls of duckling could never access. The maintenence men, the leasing agents, even their boss...I watched as this became their total obsession until they were safely placed in a new location.
The world stood still for those ducklings. They taught us that new life comes when we don't expect it, and they showed us that if we focus on tiny aspects of our existence--and take joy from them--we will always ebb and flow through life with happiness in our hearts.
Thank you, ducklings. I hope you grow big and fat and old, too.