Time to wait and watch

Ducklings under a mother's eye

There are ten ducklings in the river below St Mary’s Church; ten very fluffy young creatures that are going to take some keeping together over the next few weeks. I wonder whether or not they will all survive. We shall be counting them daily. Mother duck is keeping watch.

I am less enchanted with our local pigeon population that appear to me to laugh at me from the top of the United Reformed Church before gliding down to peck away at the tender shoots of peas beans and lettuces. It is probable that they are getting the blame for some serious slug and snail damage too, but in casting around for culprits the pigeons just happen to be bolder - and have an annoying ability to look happy and self-satisfied.

The young animals and plants may be inclined to be viewed in literally a pecking order. A fox cub wandered briefly past our kitchen window earlier this week and fledglings are appearing in the garden too. With the early light these days the old saying “the early bird catches the worm” is borne out especially on these damp mornings. It’s funny how we see it from the bird’s angle? After all it could just as well be said that the early worm got caught by the bird!

However, the virtue of being early will remain, and, as I glance through the list of deadlines that are coming up, I see the need to “get ahead of myself” as we might say. Somehow they always get done; sermons prepared, articles completed, meetings sketched out, but always may there be the time to lean on the parapet of the bridge and watch the engine in steam draw out of the station; enjoy the light on the sea; and, even ..... count the ducklings in the river…..

John Mann