A menagerie is growing. It is peeping and squeaking and soon to be quacking.
Seven little ducklings have taken up residence in our basement.
And on occasion, the bathtub.
Watching these creatures stirred something deep within myself.
and a little giggle
of a five-year-old girl.
The same five year old girl that used to chase sparrows around the McDonald’s playground in hopes of catching one,
just to feel what feathers were like.
The same five year old girl that would take her grandpa’s hand and say, “Let’s go look at the garden!”
The same five year old girl that dug up the roots of an apple tree, certain that she had found a dinosaur bone.
That little girl, is me. She arrived yesterday.
A day after the ducklings.
She wanted to call her daddy to tell him about the excitement of holding these little fluff-balls.
I had to be gentle with her, “Your daddy died last year, sweetheart.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’m sad about that…
But, we know what feathers feel like now, right?”
“Yes, we do. We get to hold birds everyday, if we want.”
“And we have a garden now, right?”
“Yes, but it’s too cold to work in it. But someday soon the green onions and garlic will start sprouting.”
“And we have apple trees too, right?”
“Yes, we do. Dad helped the boys plant them two years ago.”
“Oh good. So we’re happy and life is good, right?”
“Yes, my girl. You are right. As difficult as things feel sometimes, we are happy. And life is good.”
What an amazing sense of arrival, to know what is truly important to the core of my being.
And to know that through all the struggles,
through all the discontented and quieted bits of my inner self,
that the young child,
the one with the quietest voice,
is the most accepting,
the most appreciative,
and remains close to the ones gone from this world.