Hello everyone! My name is Graham…Graham Quacker, that is. Long time no quack, huh?! My mom said lots of peeples have been asking about me lately, so she waddled on out to my yard and captured some brand new photos of me. Of course, she can’t resist my cuteness and took far (far, far, far) too many, and now she’s wondering exactly how many duck pictures she can actually share on here before people get tired of them…not that I can actually imagine that happening. I mean…just LOOK at me.
Most of you probably know who I am by now, but my story can be found HERE on mom’s blog if you don’t. Basically, I am a cute little, black-bellied whistling duck who fell from my nest and was rescued from a busy street as a tiny hatchling last summer and brought to my new duck mom scared, dehydrated, and in dire condition. She wasn’t sure I’d even make it, but my mom isn’t one to give up on anyone (as I guess some of you well know!). She knows all about broken Things with Wings, and she carefully nursed me back to health and happiness after what I like to call The Fall (and I don’t mean the season). I was the tiniest, saddest, most delicate little thing you ever saw when I first found my way into her heart and home. And would ya just look at me now! Boy am I a beaut (or at least that’s what my mom says over and over and over…).
For those of you who have been wondering, I’m alive, healthy, and completely well. Even my funky little water drunken limp has finally worked itself out with some exercise and extra sweet potatoes. I’ve come a long way for a little duck who was never even supposed to live! Nowadays I spend my time happily splashing and splishing around in my little personal pond (yes, even when it’s 24 degrees outside much to my mom’s angst!), hanging out with my crew mates, the Fluffy Heads, and loudly voicing my opinions for anyone and everyone within two miles to hear. And that’s no joke! There’s one thing that still hasn’t changed about me, and that’s my propensity for vocalization. I think I get that from my duck mom though. Shhhhhhh!
Let me tell you, the past year was a real gobbler, wasn’t it? First there was The Fall. So many of you experienced The Fall too. Everywhere I turned it felt like there were foxes and hawkses just waiting for an opportunity to have me (and you) over for dinner…and I don’t mean as an honored guest either! We’re talking main course (*shivers). And then there was the time the chickens who were supposed to be my friends tried to destroy me. I’m not kidding! It was really terrifying (but that’s another story for another day).
My point is… this last year I have fallen from my place of safety and comfort, lost everything I knew, been abandoned and alone, was betrayed by peeps I trusted, have been hurt and scared, and even lost some peeple I cared about. Add in all the political unrest due to the Donald Duck and Joe Birden election stuff, some weird pandemic thing (come on people, it’s not like it’s the bird flu!), and anyone and everyone unkindly flapping their bills without reserve about their personal duckpinions, and it’s been…well, a year for the rats! Which is weird because on the Chinese calendar it was the year of the Rat. Go figure. Now a year of the Duck? There’s a spirit animal I could really get behind!
I know that many of my fellow flocks out there (that’s you!) have dealt with the same kinds of stresses, fears, and frustrations too. Let’s face it, it would be pretty darned easy to get our webbed toes all wrapped up in all the dirty, tangled fishing line of negativity that has polluted our personal ponds over the past year. Hook, line, and sinker. I’m not going to lie, there have been times when I just want to screech out, “Quack you, 2020!” And that’s totally real and okay to feel that way! I think most everyone does.
See, I want to live, not merely exist. And I think you do too. Right now, even as I whistle this story and my mom translates it for you, the rain is coming down in thick sheets. Like it has been for days. And days. The lightening is flashing, my pen is very much a mucky flooded mess, and the storms just keeps on rolling in. The chickens are looking forlorn and drenched as they hide under trees and bushes, the two-legs have disappeared into that weird box thing, and even my buddy and protector, Prince Caspian the livestock guardian, is curled up in a tight ball under the awning with droopy tails and ears. And the roosters? They are soggy. Believe me when I tell you there is nothing more ill-tempered, pathetic, grumpy, and downright mean than a soggy rooster. Well, other than maybe a pilot who gets called in on his or her day off.
But guess what me and my five other ducky pals are doing? Flapping, splashing, splishing, sploshing, and zooming gleefully through every single puddle in the yard while having the time of our lives! That’s what. Here’s the thing: We are in the middle of the exact same storm as everyone else on the farm, we just choose to look at it from a completely different perspective…a ducky one!
This beyond all others is the reason why my duck mom finds us so endearing (I mean, outside my irresistible cuteness, of course). When the storms of life move in and everyone else gets down, depressed, and hopeless…we are complete and utter joy! When everyone else is running full speed for shelter, we are waddling towards the storm with wings spread wide! Because we know what most people have forgotten…life is always worth living and you can find unexpected puddles of blessings and great happiness even in the worst storm. Some people let the storms define them, but we ducks define the storms! How beautiful is that?!
So here’s my duckcouragement for you this week… Live your life like a flappy happy duck and not a soggy ol’ rooster!
Look, I know that 2020 was really quacked up for a lot of you. Me too! I know that for many of you the storm is still raging ever onward. I’m in no way pretending it didn’t or isn’t. There’s no happy little plug to pull that will drain all the unhappy, murky water of the past overnight. Life simply doesn’t work that way. But eventually, the sun will shine again. Like you, I felt the full pain of The Fall…but I got back up and chose to live despite my circumstances. I’m still an abandoned, orphaned duckling…but one that’s been rescued and has found the deeper love of my rescuer. I’ve still felt the terrible, terrible sting of betrayal…but I’ve learned who my real peeps are. It’s still storming outside…but I’m choosing to dance in the puddles rather than quiver under the awnings.
And I hope you will too! Because really, we all have to choose for ourselves whether to flounder or F.L.Y.
I love you, my beautiful Things with Wings. I hope you will take this opportunity to reorient yourself, to find new ways to F.L.Y. no matter how big the hailstones the world throws at you, and to embrace and own the truth – that you are beautiful, alive, precious, and loved. I quack you, friends, to the pond and back!
Don’t be a soggy rooster; be a DUCK. And for quackness’ sake… F.L.Y.!!!!