It’s our last day in Seattle, 45 degrees and cloudy, and a duck sits on top of the high school across the street.
I can see him clearly against the milky white sky, which is growing steadily brighter as the sun climbs and students parade into the huge building with their bulky backpacks.
I’ve got my own bulky backpack with my new laptop, camera, mouse and headphones, which will be my carry-on for our 13 hour travel day to Hilo, Hawaii tomorrow. The Bearded One will carry on a pillow and my purse. We’ll check our suitcases, which we are living out of for at least another month, probably more. Until we find a house.
“He’s looking for his partner,” says my brother-in-law, who along with my sister, is heading off to work.
I laugh, but don’t take my eyes off Mr. Duck. I can see his bright turquoise neck now. “Where is she?” I say.
“They migrate thousands of miles,” he says.
Only to lose each other in the city, I think.
We left the First Farmlet on Saturday, March 22, spent a week in Texas with the Bearded One’s folks and their six new baby goats, then a week in Seattle taking care of our daughter’s dog Roger while she and her husband were out of town. These last two days we’re with my sister, and tomorrow we fly.
Our truck is already there. It must have caught a fast wave because it got to Hilo on April 2, nine days ahead of schedule.
Otherwise we’d have left earlier. Heck, we’d be there. Our sweet son-in-law, the Captain, is saving our butts by taking care of shipping the 4 foot cube containing all our worldly goods once we land.
Yesterday we went on a walk through a wetland restoration project here in my sister’s north Seattle neighborhood. We saw trout, and cormorants and ducks and geese. Two ducks waddled into my sister’s front yard when we got back.
“I wonder if they are brothers?” I said, and then looked at her. “I sound like Mom.”
She laughed. We are family. The nurturing, nesting duck is my sister’s totem animal and they flock to her.
Now the Bearded One comes upstairs and sits on the couch in a sun ray. “How ah ya?,” he says, practicing his Hawaiian with a Texas accent. Hawaiian has only 12 letters – 5 vowels and 7 consonants. “Helloha,” I joke back.
We’ve both been trying to learn Hawaiian words. I want to learn to say and embody the state motto of Hawaii, which the new owner of the First Farmlet (who left Hawaii to come here) wrote to us in an email. He had spent his first night on the farmlet, had bonded with Leah the alpha hen
and was exploring the land. He wrote:
“I hope that I can continue what you two started and obviously loved so much. I am reminded of the state motto of Hawaii which is “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono” which translates to ‘the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness’ and promise you both that I will be the best steward of this land that I can be (and) in fulfilling my own dreams here do that which is “pono” according to what you have begun.”
I look back at the high school, and see that Mrs. Duck has joined Mr. Duck. As I watch, he sails down off the roof and across the street, heading southwest. Straight toward Hawaii. We’ll be following him tomorrow. Maybe we’ll see him on the way.