No challenges today. I just felt like bringing Thomas Riverwing back for an encore. Flash Fiction from a photo, because it’s fun.
“I like ducks,” said Thomas Riverwing.
“Yeah, they’re pretty tasty,” I quipped.
The lake was beautiful. Willows dipped their branches in the water and jutting rocks glittered in the sunlight. A group of ducks meandered near the shore.
I didn’t know why we were there.
Walking with Thomas Riverwing could be frustrating. On the other hand, walks with the old shaman could be a great comfort for the soul. I needed comfort just then.
My wife had wanted to take a short-term job. It would keep her away for six months in an undeveloped country. Keeping in touch would be difficult. I was opposed to the idea and told her so. It turned into a big fight, and the simmering anger between us lasted weeks.
She seemed ready to make up one day after an afternoon of hiking by herself. My hurt still lingered and I rebuffed her peacemaking attempts. Later, I felt bad about it and realized a good hike alone might do me good as well.
As I stood at the creek bank, Thomas appeared out of nowhere, as he always does. I only realized he was there when I turned and saw him beside me. Crafty old man! I practically jumped out of my skin. “Want to see a great fishing spot?” He said.
Thomas knows I don’t fish. He wanted to show me something, and he always found wonderful places. So I agreed.
As we sat at the bank of the lake, I watched Thomas staring across the waters, still as a golden Buddha. I wondered when he would say something and explain what he wanted to show me. Finally, I broke the silence. “Why do you like ducks?”
“They live so easily,” he said. “They keep things simple and calm. See that pair over there?”
“They are mates. You can tell because they spend so much time together. Sometimes they drift apart to eat or explore, and then they come back. They are always coming back together. Always coming back.”
I watched for awhile and saw it happening over and over. They were separate by distance at times, but never in spirit. I realized then that my wife needed to explore by herself, but she would always be with me in spirit. She would come back.
Crafty old man! That’s what he wanted to show me. Thomas was always teaching.
After a time, I said, “I like ducks.”
“Your wife liked them too.”