is it dramatic to say that feeding ducks can change your life? maybe it is. maybe i'm dramatic. i've been making frequent visits to the ducks downtown since my work moved me there in April. i have a favorite spot where i go & always find this same group of ducks hanging out. i've met a few different people while i'm hanging out with the ducks.
a couple from out of town asking about the area, a man exclaiming he loves this city as he watches the goslings & ducklings waddle about, a man happily exclaiming that he feeds these ducks every day and that they remember him.
taking time to feed the ducks has kinda changed my life. it's shown me more about the world and the people around me. it's made me more aware of the details in life. it's shaken my perspective and it's been good for my soul.
of course there's nothing magic about feeding ducks in itself. it's just the simple joy in my life that has exposed me to a better part of this world. it forces me to be quiet and rest in the moment. i really escape everything when i'm with the ducks. (do i sound like a crazy animal person? cause i am.)
it's just me, the rustle of the leaves, the stillness of the water, the ducks, and sometimes other people that i would probably never cross paths with otherwise.
i walk out to the ducks one day during lunch break and i see him. a man dressed in everyday clothes. pretty nondescript. he would blend in with the crowd except that i see him. and i recognize him. he's the man who came up to me and Thomas a few days ago and asked us for money.
he's homeless and he spends his time downtown begging. i don't know the story of how he got here, but i know this is his reality. the other day as he walked away, a passing thought had me wondering what, if anything, we have in common.
and here he is feeding the ducks. my ducks. (they're not really mine but i feel like they are because i see them everyday.) i watch him as he freely gives food to these ducks. it's beautiful because i know he doesn't have much, yet here he is giving away. i find myself smiling at him.
a thought hits me in this moment. as i smile at the way his laughter and joy are all consuming. a thought hits me that i may be the only person who smiles at him on this particular day. it's a sad thought, but it's mostly sad because it could very well be reality.
does he have friends on the streets? or does he stay to himself and sleep alone each night? are the only conversations he has during the day with people who avoid him, laugh in his face, or turn him down? is he used to people being afraid of him or turning their eyes away?
maybe that's why he likes the ducks. they don't care where you're from or what you look like - they are just thankful you brought them bread.
how does feeding ducks change your life exactly? it's so special because you make a connection in that moment. you share the joy that feeding ducks brings (or whatever that simple joy may be in your life) and you realize there's someone out there that shares this with you. you realize you're not alone. and the world becomes smaller for just a little bit.