Our Own Duck Pond

Not so long ago there was a lot of flooding about in our part of the world, and some folk had a very difficult and stressful time; so what follows may seem trivial.

My wife and I regularly walk around the lanes and bridle paths local to us, but one of the paths had been practically impassable due to flooding. The water had overflowed from the adjacent field, making things look more like a large pond, complete with ducks and other wildlife. It was in many ways an idyllic scene. It was like we had our own duck pond.

However this particular day we noticed the ‘duck pond’ had gone. Channels had been cut in the field, and a culvert under the path freed up to enable the water to drain to a nearby stream. It was very effective. In many ways it was a success. The farmer got a significant chunk of his field back; the horses got their bridleway back and the walkers no longer needed goggles and flippers. But for the ducks this was a much bigger issue. Some of their number had never known anywhere else. This pond was the only home they had known. 

My thought is this. Joy and pain run side by side. In reality they are never far apart. But, like a railway, every now and then there is a cross-over and the tracks  intersect. We have been fooling ourselves if we believe that we are entitled to happiness all the time. We all now know that promises of a constantly improving lifestyle, and the notion that we could control of our own destiny were totally unrealistic and unsustainable. Economic hopes and expectations have been dashed and people are now struggling to cope. Flooding occurs and changes everything. We might whinge about our particular circumstances, but, as usual, the poorest in our society suffer the most, whilst the richest find loopholes to avoid the pain.    

In our sophisticated world we have tried to control and tame life to cushion us from adversity.  In the wild there is no such expectation of permanent happiness. The ducks will instinctively have found another pond knowing that idyllic conditions can only ever be temporary. For them flooding is not so much a problem as an opportunity. 

So it seems important to me that we enjoy the happiness we do have. Enjoy time with those we love; make the most of our freedom and our opportunities; make the most of our own duck pond.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash