The sun hasn’t been up for long, yet the pond is fully awake.
On a large moss covered rock in one corner of the pond, the cormorant is sunning itself; fully spread wings welcome the warm sun.
Turtles occupy a majority of the warming rocks and gnarled old roots, jutting up from the still water; always watching, always aware; stout legs and webbed feet stretched out to soak in the warmth.
As I wander closer to the pond’s edge, sleepy ducks regard me with curiosity, but they aren’t afraid; others doze on, with heads tucked into cozy, feathery wings.
The proud Canadian geese continue nibbling grassy tidbits and bugs as I stroll on by; a few venture a hiss or two, just to make sure we are on the same page.
The pond is still and quiet; yet it’s not.
Human noises are blessedly absent, but morning greetings and conversations are vivid and noisy; the rhythm of the pond is in full swing!
Cheerful, grounding, natural. Life lessons can be learned here; the Divine is all around.
Along the grassy edge of the pond, small fish and tadpoles congregate in the warm shallows, as a ray of sun brings heat and light. Life.
My shadow causes a frantic, mass exodus, as they dart in a mass of tiny tails and fins to safer waters; ripples and bubbles marking their escape.
A large, silent turtle, with only the tip of its snout visible, is waiting; slowly submerging in an effortless swim to its breakfast. The ebb and flow of life on the pond.
Along the edge of the pond there is evidence of nests and bedded down reeds; a few delicate egg shell pieces and tufts of feathers and down. Home for a family of ducks; their safe place; warm and tucked away.
Moving along, the insistent chirping of a red-winged blackbird, signals that I am bit too close for comfort to his family home in the tall, fully leafed tree in front of me.
I move gingerly around this part of the pond, as he begins to dive and swoop at me; making it clear that I’m a visitor here. Respect.
Rounding one side of the pond, a mama and her ducklings dart and swim through the glass smooth water; nibbling up tidbits as they happily cluck and chatter to each other. She steers them toward the middle of the pond. Cautious.
The ripples they leave behind swirl and eddy, then disappear as the still water swallows them up. Calm restored.
Random splishes and splashes can be heard, as turtles slip into the water like small submarines; tiny, pointy heads can be seen as they break the surface to keep a sharp eye on the pond bank; scouts that watch and wait.
The green Heron, master fisherman, is tucked up and underneath the mass of reeds, on a thin root poking up through the water. He patiently waits in stillness and silence. He knows food is just below the surface and silently waits for his opportunity. Patience.
A ripply movement catches my eye and I carefully make my way to the edge of the pond, curiosity brimming. Is it the river otter come back again; fishing and dining on crawdads and little fish?
No, it is a large, orangey, iridescent fish; the tail poking up and rippling the water like a miniature shark’s fin, as it roots in the murky, muddy water under the gnarled old tree, with the beautiful leafy branches.
I am captivated.
I sink to my feet watching it go about its business; gracefully moving and swishing as it searches for a treasure hidden in the murky pond. Trust.
A sudden cacophony of honking and quacking, breaks apart the loudly peaceful pond, as a goose announces its displeasure; wings and webbed feet flapping and dashing into the pond, causing a few moments of panic and unrest as others follow suit.
Quickly, all is calm and everyone goes about their business, as if nothing has happened. Ritual, rhythm, order restored. Life at the pond.
The bench that is tucked in under the beautiful tree, with weepy branches skimming the water, beckons to me.
Resting here in the shade, I try to blend in quietly, allowing nature to return to its busy activities, and the turtles to relax their ever vigilant and rigid watch.
There is always one who stalks, silently tracking my movements.
As my eyes roam over this place I love, I notice that the trees and flowering plants are always reaching up to the sky, their source of life; branches and tender shoots going up, up.
Even in seasons of autumn and winter, when skies are grey and the sun seems scarce, always their branches seek light and reach upward. They know Who sustains them.
Some of these trees are gnarled and funky, with twists and crimps, bends and burned out, broken up places, yet up; they always point up.
There is a lot to learn out here at the duck pond.
The simplicity of creation looking to the Creator to protect, provide and sustain, as the seasons and cycles of life move ever onward.
My life resembles these tenacious trees, with their broken branches and crooked spots and their seasons of beauty and abundance, fully leafed and lovely.
Seasons come and go, ebb and flow as the divine tapestry of our lives are woven by a Master weaver; intersecting pain and beauty; abundance and lack. Always with arms and face lifted up to the Source of Life.