The weather is quite peculiar of late. So am I, come to think of it. I have a peculiar relationship with time. We’re exploring each other. Nevertheless, a lovely day sprang through the wintry winds and I took advantage of it.
I went for a walk
around our lake
for a good think.
Ours is a lovely lake. Visitors enjoy it. They come a-plenty, camera-ready, in Spring and Summer and Fall. Models too, for their seasonal shots. And athletes.
It’s a private lake, actually, but why hog a good thing? It’s a well-designed lake with a winding athletic path – a mile or so. Lots of trees. Several springs shooting water up capturing rainbows.
Fishes. Turtles. Ducks of many kinds. Seasonal birds. Squirrels a-plenty. A friendly lot.
Not always so with people.
A question of trust.
Let’s just say that.
I was wearing one of my hoodies and I was careful to put both hands in my pockets. I was probably smiling. No mirror to tell, but folks say I am always smiling. Sometimes I know I am, because a few folks would smile back. I like that. And, occasionally, for fun, when I come upon a frowner I’d make a point to frown right back. I know, I shouldn’t do that, but I like to have a little fun every now and then. Why not? My frown could frighten a mischievous cat.
There was a reason I had my hands in my pockets. You see, I walk a lot. A lot. A lot! You should try it. Often. And whenever I take my daily walk around the lake young ducks would come flying out of the lake to my feet, old drakes would come waddling out of the bushes, doves and pigeons would swoop down around me, and skittish squirrels would forgo their skittishness for a while. Oh, they so love me, I used to think. I was amazed. So, I’d feed them lots of little goodies. Guess you can say I was looking for love in all the wrong places. And the kiddy-cats started peeking.
I couldn’t help my amazement. And I didn’t leave it at that. Oh,no! I had to ask myself why they found me so attractive, so handsome, so have-to-be-with-him, that they’d come flying in from a distance. Did they have a sentry on guard looking out for me – you know – whistle when you see lover-boy coming.
Darn it! I should’ve left well alone. It wasn’t my drop-dead gorgeous features and my catwalk strut that were bringing in the posse, it was the bag of goodies in my hand. Darn it!
So I started leaving the bag behind. I noticed that the young whipper-snappers and flapper-flippers didn’t give me but a glance, but the old drakes would still come waddling towards me – if they weren’t too tired – and a few feisty squirrels would crane their necks from a tree. And I would feel bad that I didn’t walk with goodies for these ones that loved me regardless. But darn it, even these had in mind that I might have a little something in my hands. Nevertheless, because I didn’t want to disappoint them – such a softie that I am – I’d tuck away my empty hands.
Then this gorgeous spring day sprang through the wintry winds so I took to walking around the lake for a good think, hands in my hoodies.
Now there is an old man that comes by daily at a certain hour with bags and bags of goodies and the zoo would gather around him for a feast. This was not that hour.
A year or so ago I was so fascinated by the dedication of this man – pigeons on his head, squirrels in his pockets, ducks on his lap – I approached him to say hi. Let’s just say he looked at me with fear and trembling, so I never bothered him again, but I’d still wave or bow respectfully whenever I see him. Poor man, I used to think; is he OK?
Now on this peculiar day, hands in my pocket, I passed a mommy with her little girl who was stooped on the grass attempting to attract a duck that didn’t give a damn. I crossed our fancy bridge to the other side of the lake. There, a drake came waddling hurriedly toward me, but I had nothing to give, so I took my hands out of my hoodies and like a crazy proceeded with signs and sounds to apologize to the old duck for having to come so hurriedly to me for nothing. Just then I felt a shadow beside me. I turned and it was that very old man. Without saying anything to me the old man took my hand and he poured seeds into it. I smiled and the duck ate from my hand. A few seeds fell to the ground. The little girl came running over. She picked up the seeds and we both fed the duck, while her mother stood by with a frown.
So, you might ask: why am I telling you this story?
I have no earthly idea.