The Tale of the Mandarin Duck by Bette Midler and Michiko Kakutani is a tale of modern society. It starts off describing the social beings in a time when “they looked each other in the eye, and pretty much liked what they saw.” And then…
As people gathered to observe this new and magnificent bird, they once again began to talk to each other. This rare bird “had worked his magic,” reminding people “to look at the world with their own two eyes. And if they did, they would see that all around them are rare and beautiful birds, with and without feathers.”
I can’t imagine a more beautiful and fitting tale to share and inspire us all as we head into summer. The book is a mix of whimsical drawings and beautiful photographs, that bring this story to life.
I recently saw a family waiting at the bus stop, with two little ones in a double stroller, hunched over devices. I wanted to roll down my window and invite them to see the world around them. They were missing the bees buzzing and the flowers blooming. I’m guilty of this myself at times, I’m sure we all are.
I personally want to be more conscious of this for me and my own children during the less hectic summer days. I wonder what we will see and who we will connect with. A rare mandarin duck might be just what the doctor ordered.