Many weeks ago, a friend and I spotted a wounded baby duck trying to keep up with her mother and siblings crossing a trail. It broke my heart to see her limp, and struggle to catch up. She never did, and was left on her own. I wanted to catch her and take her home, but she managed to slide into the water. We watched her for a while, fervently hoping she would be okay. I can still feel my anguish.
How could a mother leave her baby behind? Maybe she didn’t know, or maybe it was an instinct to preserve only the strong.
Each time I passed the pond where the little duck had slipped in, I looked for her, but I never saw her again.
Yesterday as I passed the spot, a thought flashed through my mind. The plight of this little duck affected me so profoundly. She evoked in me a depth of compassion I have yet to feel for myself or for my fellow humans.
Perhaps this little duck's purpose was to break open the hearts of all whom she encountered, and help bring forth a new level of compassion that could change the planet.
What a gift...
(New photos on website Gallery: wandernature.com/new-photos)