Thursday, September 20, 2007

Harlequins, Eiders, Mallards and Humans

I have to share these little cuties with everyone.
They're called Harlequins. I had to do some research on a particular breed of ducks for the novel I’m working on (random, I know) and I came across this photo… These aren’t the ducks I needed, but I gazed at their markings in surprise and thought, once again, about God. Almost any bit of nature, if considered closely, leads to such thoughts. I found an entrancing description of the habits of Eider ducks by James Audubon, and began imagining owning a few ducks of my own. They bond to their owners like dogs, and produce eggs and pillow stuffing at the same time! But what about the common Mallards I once admired from a distance? My appreciation for them was shrilly disillusioned when I took my niece to the pond. As we fed and watched them, it became apparent that the worst sort of kleptoparasitism (commonly found in man) was being manifested before our eyes. They fought and squawked and quarreled over Ariel’s little bits of bread. They ambushed and undercut one another. They stole. They became, not a brood of happy feathered waterfowl, but a mob of undisciplined children, displaying the flesh nature in all its worst glory.

So, I wonder, though these Eider ducks sound so great (according to Audubon), might they actually be as unredeemed as the pond Mallards? Or perhaps living in an artificial community like a pond and being fed rather than gathering their own food is what has created their Lord-of-the-Flies souls? Perhaps my Eiders (who are extremely cute in their own right, on the right :) would be perfectly natured, if left in perfect nature.

But no, I think better of that. Creation itself is eagerly waiting for the revealing of the sons of God (us), and in the meantime is subjected to futility. It’s yearning for redemption and deliverance. What’s in the Mallards is in the Eiders. I’ve got to stop creating perfection in my head, and expecting to find it on the earth!

(By the way, a pretty good review of some of my recent life –August—can be found on my sister’s blog: for instance. And yes, I did lean all the way over Elizabeth and say very loudly to the valet, “valiD, with a “D”. I wasn’t meaning to sound rebukish. It just happened, that sometimes letters have to spoken boldly and succinctly…otherwise they sound like other letters, and everybody gets confused…)