Monday, June 6, 2011

The marsh

I woke up feeling bad about staying up too late, again. Fortunately, our toddler let us sleep in. 

Then my husband reminded me that I'd asked to do something special together, just the three of us. 

So we went to the local wildlife centre. 
We headed for the the marsh, picking up a dip net and an empty margarine container along the way. Soon our container was full of tiny aquatic creatures. 
There was a horrific moment when a tiny beetle attacked and killed a dragonfly larvae in our container. I put the dragonfly back in the marsh, "to rest." I didn't think our son was ready for nature's dark side, but he seems unscathed. Perhaps spontaneous natural lessons are the way to learn about life and death. I should have been honest about what we witnessed.
Happily, we also saw lots of new life.
Turtles of all sizes; a pair of geese bathing with a gosling; ducks and ducklings doing their adorable thing. One set of ducklings dipped their heads into algae and then preened their feathers, over and over again. Another set swam behind their mother like a string of yellow pearls. 
In the rushes, red-winged blackbirds protected a nest cradling three blue eggs.
As we walked through the marsh I thought about my mother and how she would have loved to be here. 

“I think she is here,” my husband said. “That’s why we’ve seen all of this.”

Death filled my heart with sorrow; then my heart grew to make room for gratitude. 

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