Waking up this morning in the crazy world we live in, I swung my tired, creaky, and sluggish body out of bed. As I have for over sixty-five years, my mind went through its normal checklist of things I need to accomplish. Then I remembered; we are under a mandatory shelter in place order. Negative thoughts flooded my easy to fluster brain. But then, suddenly, a flood of positive energy began in my toes and worked its way to the top of my head.
“It’s gonna be a GREAT day!” I say to myself, looking upward with a smile.
Why the sudden change of attitude? Blame it on Esther.
Let me explain.
You see, we have two young lovers who have invaded our back yard. The results? A nest comprising eight large duck eggs.
We named the mother Esther, because, by our calculations, around Easter, we will have a passel full of Easter ducks.
Esther came along at a perfect time; just when our world started coming apart with COVID-19. Watching a mom tend to her future babies, it is easy to see, she is oblivious to the virus. Her world revolves around one thing and one thing only; her impending family (lesson number 1).
It took Esther a few days to get used to me. She squawked and angrily flew away when I came into my back yard. But soon she knew I was her friend, perhaps coaxed along by the prime duck food I left for her alongside her very own personal water dish. Nothing but the best for my duck!
Esther taught me she lays her eggs over a period of several days, but she does not actually start sitting on them until she lays all the eggs. By doing this, all the babies will be born at the same time.
Once Esther started sitting on the eggs, she fell into a tireless routine. She sits on the nest most of the day, but periodically, as ducks will do, she just has to take a dip in our pool. Her nest, conveniently next to the water, affords her this luxury. After a lap or two, she hops back on that nest. She is a good mom!
Around 5 PM each afternoon, Esther disappears. But before she heads out, she does an amazing job of covering her eggs with leaves. Nobody would ever know there were eggs down there. After about an hour, she is back, refreshed, and ready to stay perched the rest of the night. I must admit, first thing every morning, I peek out the window just to make sure Mama Esther is there. She is!
Esther and I have developed a great relationship. I can now sit on my back porch and talk to her. And guess what? She talks back. She is an interesting, insightful, and intelligent duck. Here are a few things she has revealed.
“Esther, how do you know what to do as a future mother? I mean, who taught you how to build a nest and how long to sit on that nest?” I ask.
Esther sits up straight, stretches her neck longer than I thought possible. With her beak, she then points to the sky, with heart emojis popping from her eyes. (Lesson number 2)
“Are you telling me God taught you?”
“Quack,” Esther replies, shaking her head up and down.
“So, Esther, how can anyone watch this beautiful display of a mother’s love for her kids, see all the dedication and personal sacrifices you have made, to do something you have never done before, and not believe there is a God?”
“Quack, Quack, Quack?” she says, shrugging her shoulders and turning her wings outward, just as perplexed as me.
“Esther, I’m worried about COVID-19. It’s destroyed my investments. Are you worried about the same thing?”
“Quack,qaaaaacccckkk, quackkiiee, quaaacckkki, quack,”
Now for those of you who are not duck whisperers, here is what she said.
“Look at me. I am a fowl of the air. I neither sow nor do I reap nor gather into barns; yet my heavenly father feeds me. Are you not of more value than me? And can worrying make you live longer? Don’t worry about tomorrow! Take care of today.” (Lesson number 3)
So, by now, I’m sitting there, open mouthed, something like the Aflac duck.
“Esther, where is your husband? I’ve seen him a time or two. He sure is a good-looking duck.”
Esther tells me he is the most handsome duck on the lake. For them, it was love on their first swim date. She quacks on and on about how great he is, how he is a great provider of food and she can’t believe all those other quackers in college overlooked him. Now, he is all hers. Triple heart emojis.
“Esther, I need to wrap up this blog post. Do you have anything else you’d like to tell my readers?”
Esther, who has now hopped into the pool, doing a stylish breast stroke, takes her wing and scratches the back of her head. After a lap or two, she pauses and says, “tell them a home without love is no home at all. In these trying times, love your family. Everything will be all right!”
“And today is gonna be a Great day!”
There you have it; lessons straight from Esther.
Put your faith in God. Take care of and love your family and friends. Don’t worry. It will all be okay. Make your home full of love.
And make it a GREAT day!