Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The surety of ducks

It's harvest time. The ducks are in the rice fields and drying stalks alternate with paddies of fresh turned clods. It smells like a pig farm for some reason, the earth is dark and dense and strewn with rotting matter and stagnating water. The ducks love it. Hundreds of them, herded by their master with bits of plastic bags tied to the end of a bamboo pole. He flicks and waves and they quack and waddle searching for I have yet to find out what, in the shallow waters. I love them. I love the whole scene. Straw hats, bare chests, stalks and clods and ducks. The afternoon storm adds a purple to the day and throws banana fronds and coconut palms in sharp relief to a sky, moody, moist and full of portent. I had not thought to find such peace at the end of the rutted path that leads away from the manic motorbikes and hustle at the other end of my lane. On a day like today, when everything feels precarious, there's a kind of surety in ducks

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