Sometimes We Need to Slow the BLEEP Down

mother duck and ducklings crossing a highway

Recently, I witnessed a horrific accident on the highway.

I was heading to the city for my chiropractor’s appointment. It was a beautiful day. I had the tunes cranked up in my car and my sunroof wide open. Finally, it was a nice spring day—until it wasn’t.

Up ahead in the distance, I noticed a maroon SUV swerving into oncoming traffic. He was fine, but a beautiful Mamma duck and her babies were killed instantly. Needless to say, I was mortified.

There is no doubt that the driver knew they had obliterated this family of ducks, but sadly they just kept on driving. Who does that?

From the corner of my eye, I saw him. One tiny duckling was left behind, digesting the horror of losing his family in an instant. He kept frantically running out onto the road to his Mom and each of his siblings. It was heart-wrenching.

I did the only thing I knew how to do: I stopped my car and turned around. I parked on the opposite side of the road from the baby duckling. I proceeded to carefully navigate my way across the highway in hopes of catching this little guy and taking him to a nearby wildlife rescue center.

I could see an oncoming car, so I stopped on the yellow line and began waving like a lunatic, gesturing for him to slow the f*&k down! I’m surprised he didn’t hit me because he blew by me at 100 KM/hr. He failed to notice me, see me flagging him down, or be present.

Now, I know some of you might say that I was a fool to be standing on the center lane of the highway trying to save one tiny duckling. But I was the only hope he had left. He was only a few days old and would most certainly die at the hands of nature if left alone. This was worth the risk to me.

I got sooooo close to him, but he evaded my capture by running into the ditch. For the record, I did go into the ditch in my brand-new outfit and white Sketchers but came up empty-handed.

As I drove to the city, I wondered why I had been witness to this. Why did I have to see this? Why couldn’t I save that little duckling? Why? Why? Why?!

Through this whole ordeal, Spirit reminded me to pause and reflect upon how I’m often not present in my own life.

My mind is often so busy that I miss hearing what people say. I am shocked at how I don’t remember important things people have shared with me. I am often disappointed in myself for not paying closer attention and for not being present.

Can you relate?

Being present means fully engaging with the current moment, paying attention to what is happening right now without distractions from thoughts about the past or the future. Is it worth being absent when you can’t change the past or the future?

Why are we not present?

  • Sometimes, it’s just too painful to be present, so we hide behind our cell phones and computers to avoid engaging with anyone.
  • Sometimes, we feel like our brains are overloaded and cannot take on more. It’s easier to be in our own fog.
  • Sometimes, sitting and listening to someone else’s problems is just too exhausting.

So what do we do?

We numb out. We dwell on the past or worry about the future, wasting the only moment we have, which is the present. We miss our kids growing up in front of us. We miss our parents aging. We miss noticing that beautiful bush in our garden that we waited all winter to bloom.

How can we stay present?

  • Breathe. When you aren’t present, you are likely holding your breath. Check in with your breath throughout the day.
  • Ask yourself why you aren’t being present. Dig deep. Address the issue before it addresses you.
  • Make time for meditation. Meditation comes in all sorts of forms. Breathing is a form of meditation. Walking can be a form of meditation. Being still while quietly listening to nature.
  • Honor yourself by being still. When your brain is not distracted, it’s easier to be present in the moment.

I’m sorry this was a bit of a sad story. It was a humble reminder to me how important it is to be present. If what happens to me is important, you know I will share it with you!

Has Spirit guided you here?

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