Duck, Duck, Human

Every Sunday morning, I get in my car and head down to the Quality Inn and Suites in Laurel, MD to attend the Science of Mind service at the Center for Spiritual Living-Laurel. There is not a Sunday where I don’t walk away with a new practice or an inspirational story or quote that has me take a refreshed look at something I may be questioning or dealing with that week.

Two Sundays ago, the senior minister, Reverend Nancy Stepp, shared with us an experience that happened to her on the way to the service that morning. Our dear Rev. is a master at opening with a story that immediately draws your attention. Her stories always make a point that tie into the morning message and she is never afraid to be openly and humanly honest about her feelings. On this morning, she had been running a bit late, only to find that the route she most often takes had been blocked off. There was a foot race/run taking place and the police guards were there to ensure the runners safety. As she sat there waiting for the way to clear, she noticed a feeling of aggravation and impatience arising within her. The police seemed in no hurry to let the traffic back through and seemed to be happily chatting away with each other.
As she described the scenario, I noticed that a feeling of empathetic aggravation was arising within me. I have been in similar situations and could relate completely to what she was saying. My body was remembering what it was like to be held up when I was already running late.

On that very morning, I had also been held up in traffic. There were four cars in front of me, completely stopped on route 1 between Jessup and Laurel. This is normally a busy road, with traffic coming in each direction. I could not immediately tell why traffic had stopped at this point, so the first feeling that arose was curiosity. And just moments later, I saw it. A mother duck in front, six ducklings in the middle, and a father duck at the rear, were crossing this very busy road. As I sat there in awe, I noticed complete love, patience, and a disappearance of the concept of time. It was as if the Universe was in complete harmony to allow all of this to happen and without a single car coming in the opposite direction. There were no horns beeping with impatience, nobody pulling out to try and get around. There was only this moment and we were all in it together.

I noticed that morning, after Reverend Nancy had shared her story, that my body responded very different in these two situations. Why, when waiting for my fellow humans to cross, would I feel such impatience in my body and yet such reverence and awe for the little family of ducks making their way to the other side? This was an Aha! moment for me. In this new awareness, I now see there really is no difference in which species is crossing the street. Human=Duck=Monkey on the Universal scale. “I am he as you are he and you are me and we are all together” (from John Lennon’s I am the Walrus lyrics).

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