Lookout. I mean… DUCK!


There are all sorts of things to love about the changing seasons. That is one of the great parts of living in Ohio, the diversity of the seasons.  They are each beautiful in their own unique way.  Although, in my opinion, Winter is God’s red-headed stepchild of the whole bunch.

At any rate, each season has its own little perks.  The little things that make it top of the shelf.  Autumn is certainly full of those bonus items.  It is kind of like opening a box of Cracker Jacks and getting five or six of those little surprise toys.

I think….. one of the best parts of fall…. is the migration of birds.  Especially the big birds, like Canada Geese or any group of ducks.   I am completely fascinated when I see them flying…  in the perfect V….. .. so high up in the sky.  They are measured and steady.  Those birds seem to be in perfect synchronization.

If there was a synchronized flying  evetr in the Olympics, those Mallard Ducks would take the Gold every time. The problem is, are they Team Canada or Team USA?  That might be problematic.  I guess we don’t have to worry too much about this.  I doubt the Olympic Committee will add such an event any time soon.

Back to the Ducks.  They fly.  Like champions. But the part I really love is when they go a little wonky.  It is when that perfect V formation turns into an N or an X… and they can’t quite regroup.  It ALWAYS make me laugh, hard… and out loud.  It typically spawns a comment from me too.

Like ….  I will see them soaring along, and suddenly, one of the ducks decides to take a sharp turn left, when all the rest are straight ahead.  An in an instant, 6 or 7 of the ducks in the rear of the V, don’t know what the crap to do.  Some of them follow the wayward bird, while the others move straight ahead.  And they are flapping this way and that.  Every now and again,  they run into one another, and start honking like crazy.    In just a flash of a second, it changes from Placid Lake, New York…. to downtown New York City, New York.  Utter chaos.

So I yell skyward… “Floyd!  What the heck are you doing man?”  And then I laugh and laugh and laugh.

It always makes me wonder what the heck DID happen.  Did that duck simply decide it was time for anarchy?  Or… is his brother Jethro leading the flock, and he is peeved off about it?  Maybe he sneezed, or had a wing cramp… and veered left?  Or it could be, that Joe, the duck behind him… has been egging him on for miles.  “Floyd… I reeeeaaallllly think we should have turned left back there over that past lake.  Fllllooooyyyydddd…. now I reeeeaaalllly think we are getting way off course.  We are headed straight for Bismark, I’m telling you.”

Oh, I don’t know what makes them go batty, but they do.

And this, is truly one of the gifts of this season.  The Great Wobbling of the Ducks in Flight.  It is when things go apparently wrong, that it seems so much better in the very moment of it.  Hilarious.  Joyous.  Carefree.

I just happened to think that this might be true of other situations in life.  We have expectations of our life circumstances to line up in that perfect formation.  We think it won’t be okay if things don’t go exactly as we had expected them.  We want that V to be the ultimate V.

But sometimes the V doesn’t work that way, and suddenly we have an X formation staring us in the face.  Or even an N.  We can be upset, or mad, or sad about it…. because it isn’t how it is “supposed to be.”

Or. We can see it for what it is.  That beautiful thing that happened out of nowhere.  Just as beautiful, just as good, and maybe even better.  And now we see the hilarity in it.  Or the purpose ……  or the joy.

And that is when we know we are flying along.  Really flying.  Exactly as we should be.



“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
― Emilio Estevez

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
― Brené Brown

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
― Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger