Tuesday, 8 February 2011

End of an era

This afternoon I said goodbye to the last three Muscovy drakes.
It is the first time I have been without ducks for about 7 years and the place seems very odd without them. They weren't there waiting outside the back door when I went to feed the sheep this evening. Now Moose will have to find something else to pester at feeding times.

Muscovies are simply the most laid-back poultry I have ever kept. They don't seem to be bothered by anything much and are quite happy just to sit and chill or relax around the pool while all the other birds around them are busily looking for food or destroying a flowerbed or something similar.

But they had to go.
I sold quite a lot last year, and the fox took the two ducks I had planned to keep. That left me with the three layabout drakes that were serving no useful purpose whatsoever. They were too old for the freezer and just represented another responsibility that I don't have the headspace for right now. When I was offered a couple of bales of hay in return for them, it seemed like the sensible solution - and one fewer journey to pick up hay. But I am really going to miss them with their football hooligan greeting behaviour and incredible fecundity.

And it is one more admission of defeat.
One more spirit-sapping move away from the reason we came to live here.
I sometimes wonder whether it would have been better to sell up and move somewhere smaller right away than to witness this death of our dream by a thousand cuts.


  1. my heart aches for you. you say you are watching all the reasons you and R came to live there move away. i had to move away from the only place i wanted to be. such opposite situations and yet they both are having the same affect.

    i am sorry. i see your photos and you have such a love place, such beautiful land around you. i hope you can reach and build on other things there, if that is what you wish. my wish for you is simple. i wish for whatever you want. i wish for you, peace.

  2. oh J. I'm sorry my lovely friend. I felt your pain coming through your words ... sending you one of those hugs where you get your back rubbed xxx

  3. We used to keep Muscovy ducks too. They would follow me up and down the aisle of the barn while I fed the goats.

    It is difficult to part with certain things from our past without those feelings of defeat. However, I think it helps if we can see the "letting go" as less of a loss or sign of defeat, and more of a "making a space" for some new thing in our lives. Today, while driving a visiting friend to the airport, she was asking about my nature photography business and I said I had all but destroyed it during the couple of years before and after Don's death, and that I didn't really care anymore. She commented that maybe something else will replace the nature photo work, and that has actually proven to be the case. Recently, I've begun painting and doing mixed media art. In so many ways, I've let go of large parts of my life. Sometimes, I feel a little like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So much has vanished or been chopped away over the past couple of years, but as parts of my life have drifted away, new parts have gradually drifted in. Maybe that's okay.

  4. But the new will come and maybe it will be different and better.

  5. Thank you everyone for the sympathy and encouragement (and the back rub :D). I was quite matter-of-fact when they went, then later felt completely overwhelmed by a wave of something - not sure what it was.
    And you are right Bev, I need to let go and concentrate on what will take their place. It is so hard sometimes though. New is good, isn't it? Or perhaps it is just ... new.

  6. I think that parting with things dear to us after a loss is especially difficult and I admire your courage in letting the remaining ducks go. I tend to hang on way longer to both the material and emotional than I should and it ends up making life more complicated in the end than if I had just faced facts and bit the bullet sooner. So you are to be recognized for your strength. Just because we can be strong doesn't take away the pain. Facing change and the new is very, very challenging - at least for me.

  7. J - I agree that letting go can be hard. Experiencing change and "the new" can be difficult too, but there can also be something very dynamic and empowering about moving into new territory. At least, that has been my experience over the past couple of years.