In the dimming July twilight, I saw a mother duck waddle from the grassy medium onto the left shoulder ahead of us. Behind her shuffled six fuzzy, yellow little ducklings onto the shoulder. I pointed to the mother duck and her duckling clan and exclaimed, “Look at that!”
Our family had been speeding along on northbound I69 through Indianapolis, returning from some family time in southern Indiana on my parents’ farm. My three young adults had already settled into their seats in the back of the minivan, ear buds drowning out the road noise. The heavy traffic thinned as we passed the last city exit and left the city proper behind. As the road on the city’s north side narrowed from four lanes down to two lanes, my husband, Dave, had guided our minivan into the right lane and set the cruise control, ours the only vehicle for long stretches of road.
As we approached and then passed the little duck family, I knew that they would not escape certain disaster, gauging their speed across the two-lane interstate and the speed of two approaching semi trucks. Unaware, the mother duck continued into the left lane leading her young ones in a straight line, head high and eyes focused on the other side of the road. I turned and looked out of the back window of our minivan and saw the semi trucks gaining speed and heading toward her.
“Dave, those ducks are headed toward certain death.” He laid his hand gently on my shoulder and nudged it forward. “Honey, don’t watch.”
I have often thought of that duck mother and her small ones, waddling across I69 in front of those semi trucks. Leading my own small ones and building a home for them has been a challenge. Words of caution have guided me, keeping me on my knees: “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)