Emotional Pain, Mindfulness

The Parable of the Ducks, What Would You Do?

Parable of the Ducks

Oh so long ago in a land far, far away there lived a flock of ducks.  This flock of ducks was a pretty rough crew characterized by internal fighting, power struggles, and showmanship.  Interestingly, each year the internal issues among the members of the flock magically disappeared during one mystical night of migration.

On the full moon during a certain month this flock would migrate to a place called the Whole.  This place of the Whole erased the bickering, the fighting, and the hurt.  This magical night healed the flock so that they could continue to live amongst each other the rest of the year.

One duck, named Alder, was a pretty stoic duck and often times would try to fly in a different direction from the flock. Once, Alder followed a crow and the crow hurt him badly.  Another time, he followed a cute little sparrow and the sparrow wounded him deeply.  Whenever he was hurt or wounded he would call out to his fellow flock and plead, “Help me.”

The flock, knowing the power of the Whole, would swoop down and help Alder, bringing him back to the Whole so he could heal.  Alder repeatedly told the flock, “Do not let me miss the migration to the Whole ever again!”  The flock did a good job of making sure Alder came to the migration to the Whole so they all could heal.

To Love or to Be Love

One day, Alder met an absolutely beautiful and amazing swam.  She was the best darn swan (or sparrow, or blue jay) Alder could ever have dreamed of.  Alder fell deeply in love.  The swan loved Alder so much she introduced him to her bevy of swans.  Alder joined the bevy, and loved their flights, companionship, and journeys.  The bevy loved Alder so much they even made him an honoree swan and crowned him King of the Bevy.

As you can guess, eventually came the one day on the full moon during a certain month when it was time for the ducks to migrate to the Whole.  Remember, the ducks believed that this was how the flock healed and rejuvenated.  The flock called to Alder, “Alder, leave the bevy of swans for one full moon.  You can return after the migration.  We need you to make us Whole!”

Alder was torn.  He enjoyed being King of the Bevy.  When he was with the ducks, he was, well…just a duck.  Alder thought he’d outsmart the ducks and so he performed a “fly by” during the migration.  He made an appearance without truly being part of the mystical experience.   Alder wanted the ducks to think he was supporting them but what he really wanted was to remain with the bevy.

Finally, as one full moon during a certain month approached, Alder asked the ducks to consider moving the magical migrating to the Whole when the moon was not full.  Alder argued that perhaps the flock could migrate even in a different month.  He figured he could sneak away from the bevy of swans and not be missed by the swans if it wasn’t on the mystical night.

The ducks were appalled; they were genetically programmed to migrate on the full moon of a certain month.  If they did not fly on that night, the Whole would NOT be present.

Alder didn’t understand.  Is the Whole even real, he wondered?  What difference does it make if he didn’t make it back for migration?  Alder felt responsible for being part of the flock but he was also being pulled by the love and companionship of the bevy.

Accepting Change

The decisions the flock and Alder have to make are more than merely migrating.  Some questions they will have to wrestle with are:

Will Alder help the flock get to the Whole?

Is Alder complete and healed within the love of the bevy of swans?

Could the flock work on creating a new Whole where Alder’s present isn’t required?

How about you…As you gear up to change your way of thinking or doing, does the flock tug at you?  Are you responsible for what others want?  Or do you take care of yourself and find a beautiful bevy of swans whom you love and are loved by?

How about you…When others around you want to change traditions or shift their beliefs, do you resist them like the flock resisted Alder?  Can you believe what you want and let others do what they need to do to make themselves whole?  Can you create your own Whole?

As you can see, there is no right or wrong answer to this story.  The flock, Alder, and swan are simply seeking love and wholeness.  This love and wholeness looks different for everyone involved.