Duck Race is Good Fun, However Nature Demands Attention

Posted by on Jun 3, 2012 in Blog, Community & Relationships | 0 comments

What takes your attention away from your intended path?How often do you find yourself on one path, looking for one thing, but something else all of a sudden comes up and takes away your attention and sends you off in another direction?

You’re probably laughing, especially if you are getting to “that age” where maintaining your attention is a challenge. Why did you go into that room? Why are the salt and pepper shakers in the refrigerator? It’s amusing to some, annoying when it’s you.

Anyway, back to my story:

I had never seen, nor participated, in one of the duck races that organizations hold as fund raisers. But they sound like it could be fun. However, I had lots of questions:

  • Do they just dump a bunch of rubber duckies in the water and wait?
  • How many ducks are there?
  • How do they know which duck wins?
  • How long does it take?

In other words, how does it work?

Here in Brownsburg, the Kiwanis Club holds an annual duck race as a fund raiser on a portion of the creek in Arbuckle Acres Park. I don’t know the name of the creek, but the Haunts of Hidden River had been held here for many years so maybe that’s a clue.  It’s only a couple hours and last year I missed it by several hours. Drat.

The event for 2012 was held yesterday and I happened to be driving by at just the right time. Scheduled to conclude at noon, it was just a few minutes before. On an impulse, I made a quick turn off 267 into the park in search of a bunch of rubber duckies.

I followed the signs taking me past the baseball fields and deep into the park – right next to the creek. The crowd of people clustered by a sign labeled “finish” seemed to be a clue so I parked and walked down to the crowd. The ducks "racing" along in the Kiwanis event at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg.

There they were – ducks. It didn’t really look like that many ducks spread out in the water, but in reality, there were probably a thousand or more!

People had been there a while. Some children were whining about being hungry and others were playing at the edge of the water with sticks and stones.

The ducks were … meandering, drifting … down the creek to a gate where they were turned upside down to reveal the numbers written on their, well, bottoms.

 All the ducks were heading for the finish line, a gate made from floating tubes.

 One by one, duckies crossed the "finish line."

So my curiosity was sated. It was fun being there for the end of the duck race and the crowd dispersed to a shelter. I don’t know if it was a picnic or what because something else caught my attention.

I had noticed there were a few long strips of bark on the ground as I was walking up to the bank. They were narrow – and fresh, raw. Intent on the race, I didn’t look very closely going in, but leaving I noticed the tree they had come from.

These strips seemed fresh and raw - and out of place.

It looked to me like the tree had been hit by lightning.

Scanning up the trunk, it looked like a giant vegetable peeler had gouged out a strip that started from one distinct point up high and continued to the base.

The scar began too far off the ground to be the result of vandalism and didn’t look to be something that a caretaker would have a reason to do.

It was an example of the power of nature — both the violence and the resilience.

The tree didn’t look like it was damaged so much that it would die. Perhaps it would heal over and continue to thrive – just like people tend to do.

A duck race pitting one rubber ducky against another is good fun. But a chance encounter with nature – the evidence of its strength, the possibility of its healing and the potential in its future is more than just fun.

I left the park glad I’d finally satisfied the curiosity I had about duck races. I’ll probably purchase a number or two next year and maybe even go to the race.

But the real take-away from this diversion in my day was to appreciate and respect nature. I left to go to the garden center – it was time to bring nature home again. The tomatoes and cucumbers I’d been meaning to plant, today was the day to do it – no matter what else I had planned I feel like I’d been told.

Just think about it




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