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On the Feet of Ducks

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Change Comes from the Weirdest Places

When I was a kid I lived in the midwest of the U.S. Although all the open fields and farms that used surrounded us eventually got gobbled up by the burgeoning suburbs, for a time it was a relatively rural area.

There is a strange phenomena that occurs every spring, when the heavy rains that the surrounding farms depend upon, come with enthusiasm. Every dip in the ground forms a puddle, the crick flows and there emerges a thing called "seasonal ponds" or sometimes "spring ponds." A seasonal pond is a pond that appears in the spring, but by the end of summer has completely dried up. Not a particularly significant thing on its own. But what is significant is that, these ponds were not just a hole in the ground that filled with water. They were living ponds, full of life. They were full of aquatic reptiles (frogs, toads, gnutes and the like) and also, get this, fish, sometimes big fish. I took that for granted as a kid but later in life, I got really curious about it. OK, so the toads and frogs could walk (or rather hop) over from some permanent water body, but fish? Fish can't walk! How did they get there? So I consulted a friend of mine, well studied in such things, and was both stunned and delighted with what I learned. They flew in. You read that right... they flew in.

Duck Airlines - Your unlikely agent of change

Of course, fish can't fly any better than they can walk so obviously, they would have had to hitch a ride. That is exactly what they did. Fish eggs would be laid in the shallow water of large permanent lakes and ponds. Then along would come a host of water fowl on their way north. They would land in those ponds and lakes, collect fish eggs on their feet, land again in one of these seasonal ponds and voila, fish in the middle of nowhere where only a week ago there was just a dry, shallow hole.

And so the fish rode in first class, On the Feet of Ducks. I am not making this up. It inspired me at the time to ponder how strange and unpredictable life is. How it can change with the wind and change again just as fast. Some changes are desirable and welcomed. Some not so much. Some flit by so quickly they are barely noticed. Some linger for what seems like forever. It also inspired me to write a song of the same name. Maybe we will play it during the show. Maybe not. You never know. That is the nature of change. OK, you can listen to it here, if you're dying of curiosity. Lisa, my business partner and the producer of "The Flow" recently had quite a dramatic car accident. Nothing to be concerned about she was completely unharmed, but it sure did change her day and her life. Truth is, we experience these life changing moments every moment of every day, albeit not so dramatically (mercifully so).

There is an ever ongoing barrage of subtle bumps, rubs, pushes and pulls that change our entire life's trajectory, often imperceptibly. And, any kid who has ever taken geometry knows, even the tiniest change in direction, when extrapolated over enough distance, can put you a million miles away from wherever it was you intended to go. It is as if life is purposely kicking us out of the nest, like in the cover art for this episode. And that is exactly what it is doing. I mean, what is "The Flow" of life if not constant change?

We must choose to participate in this flow. This is the great calling of this life.

It is literally true what the Zen dudes have said for centuries, "You can't put your foot in the same river twice." Even if your feet are covered with eggs.

So "Change - You DID Ask For It?" is what Lisa and I will be discussing this week. Join myself and host/producer Lisa Berry for the next episode of "The Flow" every Tuesday at 12 noon eastern time. at or in the private facebook group

You can watch the original show right here!

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