I do a lot of reading about being fully open to the present moment and responding appropriately, but I often get caught up in the practice and what that means in real life. One chilly morning last week, Rylie awoke and I knew immediately it would be one of those days. My baby, bless her heart, was not interested in anything I had offered her for breakfast. She didn't want her diaper changed nor her pajamas off. She didn't want to play with her toys, or to draw, or to sing and dance. Ride her bike? No way (as she says.) She resisted all of our go to activities. As she made her discontent known, I remembered all of the ducks at a nearby park. Ryan and I decided to rearrange our morning and bring those little duckies some bread instead.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a paddling of opportunistic ducks swimming across the lake to come and see what we had for them. It was early, before the world was awake, before the park was flooded with people on what was sure to be a sunny Saturday. I love to be out at that time of day and it felt extra special to have that big park to ourselves in such a densely populated city. The sky was steely gray and made the water look black. It was muddy, cold and wet. I had anticipatd the cold and brought my mug of hot tea, but I was not anticipating the mud as Rylie was wearing white pants, but no bother.
Rylie was delighted, we were relieved and the ducks were extraordinary. There were big and small, black and white, male and female, brazen and timid. I had no idea there was such a diverse group of them living there in the park. I can't wait to go back in the springtime when there are sure to be ducklings. Their chorus of unique voices rang out to let us know just what they were looking for.
I brought three slices of bread, sure that would be plenty, but I underestimated just how many ducks lived at this lake and just how voracious their appetites. Rylie tore a piece of bread in half and quickly threw it into the water. The mass of ducks leapt excitedly for the prize. The lucky duck that got ahold of it, dashed across the water and a large excited gang followed him, demanding that he share his generous bounty. The ones that stayed with us were eating the bread right from Ryan's outstretched hand. We also had to keep a watchful eye behind us for the very forward squirrels that would sneak up on us, surely formulating plans of their own.
We took a walk up the hill and explored this big green park that is so close to home. A lovely memory shared and a whole little world of experiences that may have been missed had we remained inflexible to the challenges of the moment. As it turns out, Ryan and I still accomplished all that we needed to that day, probably much more efficiently too.