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July 23, 2007

19 Jul
Here on Martha’s Vineyard, people brake for ducks. Regularly and without a hint of irritation, they stop to allow a momma duck, leading her little parade of baby ducks, to cross the road..
Hello again.

Here on Martha’s Vineyard, I’m surprised people don’t have bumper stickers that say "We brake for ducks". People regularly, without a hint of irritation, stop to allow a momma duck, leading her little parade of ducklings, to cross the road. It happened this very morning, on the beach road that divides Vineyard Sound from Farm Pond. Cars from both directions obediently stopped and lined up for quite a while, patiently waiting until the last little webbed footsie had safely reached the other side.

Now, this is in sharp contrast with the emotional zeitgeist when traffic gets stalled for the drawbridge, or backed up at the stop signs at Five Corners (this island famously has no traffic lights - just stop signs and one blinker, its location known to all as ‘At The Blinker’), for the same amount of time or even less. Under these conditions, people get pretty cranky. They even write protest Letters to the Editor about it in the Vineyard Gazette. It gets debated at high volume at theTown Meeting and in the post office.

But somehow, when these entitled, cheeky little duck families are crossing the road, people manage to set aside their usual ideas about the clock, and enter into some non-ordinary space of duck-time, where they just smile, watch indulgently, and wish the little waddlers well.

Very salutory!! Extremely healing!! Perhaps what the world needs is a few more ducks in the road!

Take care and be well,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award