verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Friday, July 22, 2011

If It Walks Like a Duck...

All swim!

...then it's a duck.  No, it's three ducks.  Actually, it's three ducks and a few chickens.  This is one of my favorite gigs (and yes, it would fall into the Bizarre Compartment but as time goes on, I realize that for me there's no Compartment--it's pretty much all uniformly Bizarre) (which I love)(by the way). Every so often I have the extreme pleasure of caring for this feathery family and I am very happy to say that I have known these ducks since they were babies, and I've watched them grow into these fine and friendly ducksters.

It's impossible to hang out with this gang without smiling.  They tickle me. Ever hear a duck drink water?  You must.  Seriously. That sound--I could shut my eyes and listen all day.  It's as funny as it is endearing. In the coop the chickens are making their chicken noises and I love their murmurs (they sound so opinionated, don't they?), but there is nothing like the sound of a duck (x3) drinking water.

This particular trio is incredibly friendly and close-knit.  They never stray more than a few inches from each other but unlike the chickens who are only interested in finding something better to eat, the ducks are interested in getting a close-up view and seeing what you're all about.  In this blistering heat, I filled their wading "pond" and they came right over and though they were eager, they seemed to be politely waiting for the green light to jump in.  When I caught on, I announced as officially as I could, "All swim" and they seemed to hop right in.

Last night the sun hung very low in the sky-- a deep orange red globe dripping heavily through the branches of a tree. Stunning. The ducks were the last to say good night to the thick sky, and I arrived just in time to watch them file in towards the darkened quiet coop where the chickens were already resting.

Good night, ducks....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Piece of July

Meredith, Artemis, and I took a walk to our favorite spot.  It's just a few steps from our door and each time we are there (which is almost everyday), 

the concert between earth and sky breaks our hearts wide open.  Each new song arrives in color and birdsong, and breeze.

And in deafening beauty, we find our true selves again and again.

photo credits: meredith bempkins

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I went back to the barn to check again last night.  When I got there, I found the other three babies had died.  I stood back to study the mother--I was looking to see if she needed anything.  Food or water?  Or maybe comfort.  She simply stared back and then turned to her hay.

The barn was cool, dark, quiet.  The quiet hum of the fans droned on. I stood a little while and listened to the sound of another day gone by.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Yes, they are very cute.  But the day after I took this, three of these little ones died.  The barn is full of babies right now and thankfully they all seem to be thriving--except for this one litter.  I was cautioned that this was a possibility, but mentally I canceled it out.  It just didn't seem likely.  Their preciousness seemed contrary to their vulnerability.

They just lay there, still.  The truth was instant. I stood there for a few minutes trying to explain this to myself.  The mother seemed indifferent, as did the remaining babies.  I looked around the barn to the others for some sort of acknowledgement, but they showed nothing but the ordinariness of another day, another meal, another death.

I still feel it--the passive finality of these deaths.  It's not so much that these bunnies died.  It's that they died so swiftly and quietly, and in the midst of just another day.  Somehow the ordinariness of this event becomes reassuring.   I continue rounds and pay attention to my work, and the day.  Again, truth comes in an instant.  A day in the life of any life is extraordinary.