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This afternoon, the ducks are more than one mile from their pond-home, surrounded on three sides by the ranch homes of an extended family in my neighborhood. Everyone knows these ducks, evidently tamed for decades by the loving-kindness that surrounds them. Toddlers with their moms often stop and feed them. Opposite their fenced-enclosure, a faded yellow and black sign, “Duck Crossing,” alerts pedestrians and motorists, alike, to their presence.

Perhaps wearied by their trek, the ducks squat upon mounds of fresh grass moistened by misty rains; their two speckled companions, not photographed, are nearby, still exploring a puddle. The white duck, like a Joan of Arc, appears to lead the others on their jaunts. Then as abruptly as they began, they stop as other ducks swell the pond and mating takes off in earnest. And so it has been for the last fifteen years.

But yesterday, I heard the ducks outdid themselves, venturing onto a major thoroughfare, stopping traffic in four lanes until they waddled across, drawing quizzical smiles from most motorists.

Would that all peoples could be as free-spirited, as instinct-directed, as open-minded as our neighborhood ducks; even the black one with the limp participates fully with the others. Would that we could practice heart-acceptance, despite our differences and stop throwing around terms like, cancel culture that only feed the glaring divide among us.  

Perhaps learn to lighten up when spring waddles of ducks begin. Creator God would have it so.

At 6:15 A.M., I awoke with these dreams:

I’ve joined a large group of animated women who are working for global peace. All wear dresses made of the same cotton fabric: blue with pastel flowers. My A-line dress with the scalloped hem fits perfectly.

The first dream emerging from my unconsciousness describes the total engagement of a large group of animated women, each distinct, but focused upon achieving global peace. I’m honored to be identified among them. Their task is daunting: developing relationship skills among all individuals and nations. Only heartfelt prayer can bring this about. Yet, this is happening and has been for all millennia. Planet Earth still survives, with yet another spring’s coloring.

A tall strong man hurries in my direction intent upon harming me. I see him and call out to him: “Such dithering nonsense! There’s nothing you can do to upset me. Besides, you’re not a man—Just a large fish, with scales scintillating in the sun. Quite distinctive, actually.”

The second dream depicts an ugly man, a nasty scoundrel: Scowling eyes, beefy biceps, and ropy muscles that ripple with each stride in hot pursuit of me. For some reason, I hold my ground and wait as he morphs into a large fish, with scales scintillating in the sun; their beauty stuns me.  

The Fish looks back at me and knows I’ve identified with its Greek equivalent icanthus: acronym standing for the ancient Christian symbol meaning Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.  

Admittedly, such a tall strong man can accompany death’s assault upon body-mind-spirit, mine included, but it’s all a ruse. Beneath, lies release and eternal life, its foreshadowing, a welcome reprise as I wait.

Like stage prompters, March’s lengthening sunrays split nail-hard buds tipping shrubs, perennials, and trees. Promise of fresh greens, whites, pinks, and yellows rouses hope in psyches starved for color’s kiss.

It’s happening again. Let us give thanks …

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