Saturday mornings are my favorite time of the week. I love getting up early, getting things done, and being ready for a nap before most of the population is even out of bed. I love the quietness on the streets and in the air. I love the freedom that comes with knowing I have a whole day ahead with few plans.
This week, I was bold and, despite threatening skies, I walked to the farmers market. Last week, I rode my bike, but discovered it was awkward to carry a large tote bag on a bike, and I was planning on buying eggs this week, so didn't want to take any chances. I was lucky and it didn't rain till after I returned home. On my way, I walked through part of the new, much-touted Carmel City Center development, and had some thoughts.
I saw the lone mama duck with her only child. I tried to take a picture, and they hopped into the large, long pool with fountains in the middle of the courtyard. I felt bad for this little baby duck. It is growing up with a suburban life, and it is meant for more. It is swimming in a chlorinated pool, where it is meant to be in a lake, with bugs and plants and fish- things to eat and dodge and play with. As it is, the duckling is living a sanitized existence, less than the wild that he was created for. It is a beautiful environment, to be sure- and safe. Yes, there are cars to dodge, and the occasional stray cat, but no hunters or wild animals. The lawns are well-manicured, and even the bushes the mother duck shelters her duckling under are trimmed and landscaped.
Is this the life for a duckling? Will it grow up to not know the dangers of the world? Will it be able to survive one day when it does end up in the wild? Will it appreciate the lakes and forest, or will it return to its sheltered existence, choosing to not experience what it was made for?
There are downsides to swimming in a chlorinated pond.
My heart is yearning for the wild- for wide open spaces where things are not perfectly landscaped and trimmed, rough and worn rather than clean and painted. Where wild animals roam free, not just in zoos. Where there are dangers and challenges I don't totally understand from my suburban existence, but I'm willing to take on for the freedom to be in the 'wild'. I want my own land to produce food for our family. I want room for our future children to run and explore and learn about the world around them- And perhaps swim in un-chlorinated ponds.
I think all this while walking to the Carmel Farmers Market. To be clear, very few of the growers at the farmers market are actually from Carmel. Carmel is a suburb- and an upscale, well-planned suburb, at that. Everything here is New and Clean and Trendy and Sanitized and Well-Decorated. No dirt from the farms- just the trendy organic food. I want to be somewhere else, somewhere where the farmers market doesn't need to import farmers to fill the booths, because they live there and are my neighbors.
This just scratches the surface of what I'm thinking. Perhaps I'm just dreaming silly dreams. Perhaps I shouldn't have shared. More later. Probably.