16 April 2011
the ducks in the puddle
The puddle in the parking lot is nothing more than a few drops of water and probably some oil, or maybe some other fluid that's apt to drip out of a car.
Okay, it has to be more than a few drops of water because a few drops don't a puddle make; they make a puddlette or a pudling.
But the point here—what I want you to envision—is that the puddle is small, very small. The size you could leap over in a single bound, even if you aren't Superman. Or Superwoman.
It's early April, and a very small April shower has brought this very small puddle. What makes this puddle look even smaller is that two regular-sized ducks are sitting in it.
It's like seeing grown-ups sitting in kid-sized desks at parent-teacher conferences at the elementary school: everything else around looks even smaller because these giants have taken over a room that was, until they stepped in, just the right size. The scene is a touch absurd, and you half-expect the White Rabbit to wander through muttering about how he's late, he's late, for a very important date.
The puddle was just a puddle until these ducks decided to make it a lake—a very tiny, no fish in it lake. When they landed in it, the scene became a touch absurd when just a second before, it had been nothing but a dull parking lot in a dull, completely unsurprising and expected office complex.
There the ducks float—although how can they possibly be floating?—on a puddle the size of a football player's torso.
They are next to a Honda CR-V in the parking lot, which perhaps to them look like a mountain range rising out of the concrete and so maybe they think they're in the Rockies, Canadian or otherwise.
Driving past the ducks on my way home from work, I wanted to roll down the window and ask, "Excuse me, but don't you know that Herrick Lake, a beautiful, idyllic, actual lake, is just up the road? Did you not see it? Did you not know that if you flew just a little bit more, you could reach somewhere so much better than this?"
I wanted to ask, "Why are you settling for this puddle when you could have a lake, a real lake where you could dangle your webby feet in the water and dive for bugs or whatever it is that you eat?"
It would be absurd to talk to ducks, though.
As I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road that would take me home, I looked at the ducks in the little puddle and asked myself the same question: Where am I settling for a puddle when I could have a lake if I pushed on a little bit farther?
I don't know the answer to that, or even if that's a good question to be asking, but it came to me as I looked at the ducks and I thought I'd share.