Behind my house, down the street, a ways, is a peaceful little urban fishing pond. It sits almost hidden among the 5 story apartments and towering businesses.
When I first moved to my little condo in 2016, I was thrilled when I came upon this jewel. It took me back to my country childhood full of ponds, rivers, and mountains. One of those rivers was the Sanpitch River.
The San Pitch River, extending 65 miles, is the primary watercourse of the Sanpete Valley and drains into the Sevier River in southwestern Sanpete. The river is named for the Ute chief Sanpitch, who also gives his name to the San Pitch Mountains and Sanpete County. Wikipedia
Many summer days were spent at that river despite it being a muddy, nasty adventure. It was common after swimming to climb into the shore and see your feet covered in little white bloodsuckers. We would scream and dance around and brush them off then jump on our bikes and ride home.
My urban duck pond is a bit cleaner, but not much. It’s full of debris and duck yuk but draws a few fishermen a day.
It has an attached playground and grassy area plus a Ferrell cat feeding area. On many hot summer days I would take my little chihuahua to the cool green grass and spend an hour or so.
On my most recent trip, I took a seat on the grass between the tall feather reed ornamental grasses and the ducks resting on the side. I looked over and noticed an egg sitting between me and the ducks.
Since it wasn’t in a nest, I could only assume the mother duck abandoned it due to it not being viable.
As I watched the ducks bask in the sun and stretch their wings; ignoring the egg; I couldn’t help but wonder how the mother knew the duckling had died. As I googled it, I came across this article about a duck who was retrieved from a mother and saved.
This sweet duck story could not have been more of a coincidence to my family’s situation right now. Some of my family members are exploring surrogacy to obtain a child for someone who doesn’t have any of their own. It’s radical since we have never done anything like this before. It’s exciting too.
I know that’s a little different than duck eggs but I couldn’t deny the relevance.
As I watched the ducks enjoy their day I thought of that abandoned egg in relation to just a few months before in my life. I have felt like I was fighting the battle of my son’s opioid addiction alone without a lot of family support for years. My husband has come a long way in his attitude toward addiction although he has always supported me and my efforts. It seemed to be just me and him against this monster of addiction that throws every axe and hot flame into every plan of action possible.
But 6 weeks ago on May 28th that all changed. My son was in ICU for difficulty breathing and low oxygen. He was intubated for 6 days. He was given a diagnosis of heart failure and given an unknown but bleak prediction of life expectancy. The cardiologist made it clear that the heart can only heal once so his lifestyle was paramount in making that happen.
The most amazing thing about it is the family support he and I received. His family rallied around him and he was even able to see his sweet daughter for the first time in years. I can’t even tell you how much of a difference that makes. The relief, the weight of the world seemed to have been taken off my shoulders and his. He couldn’t stop talking about it. I believe it made the difference between him giving up on life and going back to a lifestyle that would surely kill him.
I watched the ducks race to the water and seemingly play with each other. Or were they fighting over bugs? Whatever it was, they had to learn to survive and get along 24/7 in the confines of that pond. Some days I’m sure it’s a duck-eat-duck world, but ultimately they learn to survive and thrive.
Awee. My little fishing pond and the ducks that have been my summer friend for over five years now. They bring me a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the city all while teaching me about life and survival. And now that life feels like a lot less pressure and despair, I’m hoping these ducks and this pond will bring me more joy and beauty until the cold winds of winter descend. Until then, I will enjoy the massive heat wave we are experiencing and find balance and joy in all seasons.