So I was in the bank parking lot the other day, staring out of the window and waiting for my mother to get back into the car, when I noticed a pair of ducks hanging out on the speed bump before the drive-thru.
Now, I am not a big fan of ducks*, and if I had been outside of the car at the time, I probably would have immediately vacated the area. But there was a wall of metal and glass separating me from them and I was wearing my seatbelt, which always makes me feel safer, so I sat there and watched as they waddled up and down the speed bump. Every few steps they’d fall off or step down, flap their wings, and climb back up again. A small child would have done the same, with pinwheeling arms and look of intense concentration. It was kind of cute, if, you know, you’re into ducks. However, instead of making up some sort of story for them, trying to craft some metaphor for the experience, or even just admiring them, all I could think was man, I really need to get over my fear of ducks.
*Once upon a time when I was around eight I went to a Suzuki violin camp for around a week. In front of the main building where all the big classes were there was a pond and a circular driveway that surrounded it. It was filled with ducks and geese. I, having recently been introduced to the fact that ducks and geese like bread, was fascinated by them.
One day, in the dining hall, I carefully saved a few slices of bread, and right before one of my lessons, I went to feed it to them. I looked both ways, ran across the driveway, and very carefully started to pull apart the slices into pieces for the ducks. The ducks immediately flocked to surround me, and I contentedly kept throwing them bits until one of them got a little close. It began snapping close to my fingers, trying to get the whole slices, and I ran for it. Dashing across the driveway without stopping to check for traffic, I kept my head turned behind me to see if I was being followed.
I don’t know if any of you have noticed this before, but the human body does a better job of moving and makes less mistakes when it can actually see where it’s going. I apparently had not yet grasped this concept, despite the alarming frequency with which I crash stopped my bike into the mailbox while looking the other way. Anyway, my foot caught on the curb, and I pitched forward onto the concrete path. The story ends with me going to the hospital and discovering that I misplaced tissue in the fingers on my left hand, thus rendering me unable to play.
(Thankfully though, the large bruise on my forehead did not mean I had a concussion, and my mom did an admirable job of doing the fingers while I used the bow for my final performance.)