Pieces of eggshell were scattered across my lawn. Mama duck’s nest of mulch next to our front door lay empty. A critter had found her hiding place and enjoyed a midnight snack. My heart hurt for Mama. I had watched from my window as she and Papa had visited the nest every morning. He protected her as she sat on her eggs. That morning they returned to emptiness.

Later, as I walked to the car I spotted something next to the sidewalk. One unbroken egg. It was the lone survivor of nine. I was on my way out and didn’t want to be bothered, but I couldn’t walk away. Why had it survived? Something had carried it or rolled it down the sidewalk. The shell was still intact. I picked up the egg and placed it back in the nest hoping Mama would return.

At dusk, I wrapped the egg in a towel and set it under a heat lamp. Then in the morning, I put the egg back in the nest. I did this for two days hoping Mama would take over. She didn’t.

Now, the egg is sitting in an incubator in my bathroom. I had given myself many reasons for not caring for the egg. It’s not fair to a duck to be hatched outside the wild, it’s dangerous because I have two curious dogs, It’s going to be a lot of work caring for a duckling, what if I fail and it dies, maybe it’s been a dud all along and I’m caring for an eggshell I should have thrown away. All of those reasons were met with one thought…it’s potential life. It’s possibility. Who am I to destroy a life?

It occurred to me that caring for this egg is similar to having a dream. There’s a nudging that whispers what direction to follow, what must be done. Then the challenge arises with all of the excuses of why it makes no sense to pursue the dream. Still, I follow. I do what feels right despite not knowing the outcome. Some would say it’s called enjoying the process or journey. Just as I turn an egg four times a day, I write the novel that must be written, and I run the miles that hopefully prepare me for the next race. It’s life offering a possibility and asking me to trust.

Soon I’ll candle the egg and either laugh at all my effort for caring for an eggshell or continue nurturing the life inside. Possibility means trusting that I don’t have all the answers or know every outcome of what I set out to do. It means taking it day by day, doing my best, and doing it with courage and heart.

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