Monday, May 21, 2012

Ducklings on the Courthouse Lawn

When I was in law school I worked in downtown Minneapolis, steps away from the Hennepin County Government Center and the Federal Courthouse. I loved it. I loved every moment of being in the middle of the action. I loved that I could be on my way to work or out for lunch and catch a glimpse of a well known attorney, that I could easily attend an event at a major downtown firm with only five minutes lead time and could drop by any courtroom to catch a star witness in a major case. For a suburban kid, it was pretty awesome. For a law student, it was a spectacular experience.

Another thing I loved about working in downtown Minneapolis was that when the nice summer weather arrived downtown came alive in a whole new way. Yes, the skyways are filled with life throughout the dreary months but as soon as it hit the low fifties the hunt was on for a bench to sit on at lunch. Frequently, I found myself sitting around the reflecting pool on the government plaza, feeling pretty impressed with myself and that I was doing it - having lunch, in my suit, outside of a courthouse, soon to get back to my very important job of brief writing in my cubicle.

Here in Windom the nice weather has brought on an outdoor spectacle of a different kind. First, unlike government plaza our courthouse is actually surrounded by a lawn, with trees! There are a few benches outside and it's never a challenge to find a spot in the shade. Second, rather than watching law clerks hustle around to ensure that documents are timely filed, a person lunching on our courthouse lawn is likely to see a mama and baby ducks hustling from evergreen to evergreen. It was a busy Monday for me so I was inside, but all afternoon we watched the ducks make their way around the courthouse, and late in the afternoon even saw a family laying on the grass near a tree watching them.

It's sometimes nice to be reminded that some things are just always fun. Yes, star witnesses in a major case are always fun (in a strange legal way), but so are ducklings, waddling around on the courthouse lawn, on a Monday afternoon.

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