I'm something of a control freak and it makes me feel good to operate under the delusion that I'm always in the driver's seat. I like to plan every little detail and I like things to go the way I expect them to, but as life is frequently messy, that is often not the case. And I'm of the belief that everything happens for a reason.
I've owned poultry for the last ten years and I decided a couple of years ago that I didn't want to shoulder the burden of caring for them anymore. When I first began my backyard bird experiment, it was exciting as hell. I enjoyed the quaint ideal of raising the birds and occasionally breeding them, having fresh, organic eggs every day and sharing the surplus with friends. But the back-to-basics lifestyle came with a price: daily barn cleaning, bathing birds, feeding and watering birds multiple times a day regardless of the weather, my own health or available time, and caring for sick and aging chickens and ducks. As my last birds are well into their golden years with only a rare egg laid, the decision was made to let them all pass on in their own time and then I would turn the barn into a much-needed garden shed and their run into a fertile and vigorous vegetable garden. I even planned what vegetables I would grow, so detailed was my plan. So I've waited patiently and given my fowls' current ages, figured it would be only a couple of years, give or take a bit, before I am finally poultry-free. So tell me, what are the odds that one of those rare eggs would be deeply hidden in the bedding by a duck hen, go unnoticed and uncollected for the last month and then hatch a baby duckling, in an extended heatwave, all by itself? And not just any duckling, but a special needs duck with a malformed bill and a bit of trouble eating all by itself?
This was not in my long-range plan. I have spent years taking in unwanted birds and birds with special needs. I was nearly through and ready to move on to the next stage of my life. If this new baby survives, I'll be looking at possibly another six years at least before I no longer have poultry. And trust me, I couldn't give this duck away as no one will be interested in a bird with a bad bill who needs help at feeding time. No, it's mine to care for. So what's the lesson in this turn of events? What is the universe telling me? I'm not sure. Maybe it's as simple as my being meant to continue to care for unwanted poultry; the birds that others so easily throw away. I don't know.
I frequently get into discussions with those people in my life who don't believe that everything happens for a reason. They'll tell me that things "just happen" and it doesn't have to mean anything. I always disagree and when I ask them why they think this, I get a "just because." That's the pat answer that parents use when their children ask questions that they either don't want to answer or don't know the answer to. And although none of us knows for sure, including me, that isn't going to change my mind on this. I will always believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we don't always know what that reason is or want to admit to ourselves that this is the case. It's a part of our journey here, the good stuff and the not necessarily happy surprises that are thrown at us. Like my newest four days young little pet.
Clearly I'm not the one in the driver's seat, am I?