Thanks everyone for your comments on my last post that described the harm that happened to the ducks. It has been supportive to hear your commiserations and shock and suggestions for how life might be and should be. I have been down to the garden a few times since last Friday and I do find it a bit lonely without my clucking, gaggling girls. I had got used to my feathered friends having a bit of a chat to me, early in the morning, when I came with their bucket of leftover vegie peels. They would rush up to me and gather around while I tossed out the compost box. Sometimes I had to shoo them away because they were making such a nuisance of themselves, under my feet. I always attended to them first and then turned my attention to growing, harvesting, weeding, watering, planning the vegetable garden.
As far as my emotional progress on this issue, last Saturday I felt reassured to move the chickens back here to our home garden. It's been nice to see their little feathered skirts as they wander about, bossing the ducks around. Its curious that chickens seem to have the upper hand over ducks - or at least mine do. Nonetheless, I do feel the loss of their presence at the community garden. Like all things though, I'm sure I'll settle into the new situation at some stage. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
Its funny when you take a blow against something you love. Not funny ha ha, funny strange. I'm trying to keep it in balance and not despair at the world. Throughout the long months of vandalism, I've talked often with my husband about what kind of life these young people have led that brings them to do these things. We've moved from thinking of them as young people harmed from life, in exchange harming other life, to young people, irresponsible - just out for a lark, a bit of fun, and somehow that fun tied up with transgression (cutting through the fence, stealing eggs and smashing them). Then after my experience with the ducks and the harm that was done to them, I moved back to thinking of them as wronged individuals who in turn do wrong. The pain that they have experienced is transferred into the world and experienced by others in society. Their life pain became my pain. But now I'm sick of them and want my compassion to be over. I don't really want to care about them any more. I just want to move on. Keep my animals safe and grow my vegetables. We'll take our turn repairing the holes in the fences. However, if the scale of things increases and more damage is done to my plot, to the efforts of my labour, so finely balanced in my life, I'll have to consider my commitment to this endeavour. I've already started considering grey water systems and building some vegetable beds here at home. My backyard here would never be able to manage the scale of what I have at the community garden but maybe that's my compromise for not dealing with the distress and turmoil of other peoples lives. Who knows. I hope to settle and calm my perspective.
On Monday of this week, my husband rang the police and they were surprised we hadn't rung on Friday when we discovered the harmed duck. I guess we thought the police could do nothing. They said they would send more patrols around the area and acknowledged that in reality they probably can do nothing but they wanted us to know they take these things seriously. They said they'd put us in contact with the police community liasion officer who will follow up with us about strategies and such. Then they put a value on the duck =$20. I had a bit of a giggle at that one. I could just see the earnest police officer filling in the paperwork - value of property - duck - $20.
By the way - camera is in the repair shop. I realise my photos are so out of date. The pumpkin vine is dying from frost burning off it's leaves. The tomatoes are ready to be ripped out. I have evidence of the labours over summer of bottling up my tomato crop. My winter vegies are going great guns. Not so hot - the root vegetables. Still can't seem to get those right! Anyway, bear with me. My camera has been off at the hospital for two weeks and is due home soon.
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