Monday was a stunner, so I was even happier than usual to be on bike for appointments that took me to Federal Hill and Locust Point. The ride started early as I made my way down the hill and up the hill to meet O. and R. for a day in the art studio. We had decisions to make on a project we’re working on, so we made them and then made our way to a neighborhood restaurant for a sushi lunch and story swap. If you can get R. to tell you her stories about her trip to Seward, Alaska, do it–oh, what magic! And then we parted ways and I took the lane on Fort Avenue over to Locust Point and the weird mall that I’m inexplicably in love with for a ahircut and grading marathon until it was too much not to be outside and on bike. I rode over to Fort McHenry to do a lap around and see what the other lovers of spring with nowhere to be were doing. There was a bit of a jam on the far side of the park as folks had gathered to pay very close attention to some ducks. I got off my bike to join them–this was clearly a crowd I could relate to. “This is the closest I’ve ever been to a wild duck!” one woman exclaimed. She was right. These ducks were nonplussed at our presence. We chatted together for a good ten minutes about our new feathered friends: Do they mate for life? Are those two “together”? When will we get ducklings? How is it so cute when the wiggle their little duck butts? And the the duucks were in the water and on their way, and so was I, grateful for strangers and the opportunity for friendly exchange with my fellow species. And again happy to be on a bike and in the world instead of blocked off from it, on a freeway where everyone is a faceless threat instead on an open, friendly, interested fellow traveller.
Just so you know, out here we hunt ducks in the Fall, but not in the Spring. Part of the overall “game management program” we’ve come to rely on.
I love to read your blog because you know how much all those exchanges with strangers often have a much bigger impact than we know. Even just a smile can change a life. I have witnessed it often working with the public everyday. It is important as long as it is sincere. Our fellow species!!!!