Saturday, May 24, 2008

It Was a Short Break

Some break, huh? It would seem I am a compulsive writer. I never meant to quit Chickenblog or to stop posting for more than a week or 2. Posting is time consuming and I know I should be applying a whole lot of energy, mental and physical, to figuring out what the heck we are going to do next. My hand is unaccustomed to writing with pen and paper, so I come to the computer, to the familiar glow of the monitor and the friendly tap-tap of my keyboard and I pour my feelings and thoughts out, sort them. I think meditation and journaling would be good for me, and maybe Chickenblog is my meditation and journal. Certainly I look more productive typing at a desk than if I would if sat in the lotus position, eyes closed, burning incense. Even this is something I may just keep in a file, and then Geoff says, "Chickenblog is the good and the bad. Don't stop posting."

Last night I realized that our barely 1 week new chick was failing to thrive. She was so listless and small. She always was petite, but last night she looked fragile and faint. She wouldn't eat. I could barely coax her to sip water from my finger tip. Her only interest was in sitting in the palm of my hand. Pip and Betty scratched and ate, they explored their enclosure and took long drinks of water, tilting their heads back, the way they do. And Lola could not even hold her wings up; they hung by her sides, her eyes were mostly closed. She dropped her beak on my hand. I slept and woke, tossed and turned all night, lying on the ground beside their cage. I woke every time they moved. They stirred every time I moved. And every time I looked, I would see Lola, standing apart. A few times she was at the feeder, even taking little bites and it made me hopeful. Her sisters slept together sprawled like sunbathers beneath the heat lamp. The last time I saw Lola she was looking at me, and then she was gone. Geoff woke me around 5 in the morning to say that she had died. I knew she was going to die. I even wondered if I should have helped her with that.

Do you know what this feels like? To lose this sweet little chick, my symbol of daring and making our own destiny? It is a sad, sad blow to my hope, to my faith. This is an unhappy blogiversary. I am glad I chose to take a break. What could I write about today? 'Our chick died... ?' 'I finally unpacked our bedroom and moved in, and now the landlord wants us to get ready to move out... ?' Do I believe in signs? Yes, I guess I do look for indicators of my fortune, good or bad, of our destiny. It does not look good. It has not looked good for some time. That's not all together grateful. I love my husband and my children. We are not destitute. We enjoy many blessings. It's just that there has been a steady stream of setbacks, delays, wrenching events, health challenges and stresses that gnaw away at my morale. Poor Lola. Sweet, Lola. I held her up to my children as a sign that we were moving forward, that life is good.

We buried Lola in the second barrel. The first wine barrel already has some carrots and a tomato plant growing in it. I haven't planted the other one, so now we will buy flowers to plant in it. Geoff took out a wood burner and engraved the side of the barrel. Lola's Garden. I couldn't bury her in the yard here, at Garage Mahal. The yard is too full of prickly plants, and it would mean leaving her behind. I cannot bear to leave anything behind any more. The barrel looks so pretty with her name on it. I hope we can keep flowers growing in it, looking pert and bright like she did. Maria keeps asking when we can bring Lola back out of the garden, when she will be well enough to come out. We tell her Lola couldn't be a chicken any more and has decided to grow as a flower. Are there chickens in heaven?


  1. Oh Natalie, that's soooo sad. But "Lola's Garden" sounds like it'll be a nice thing. Chin up dear, we'll be there to cheer you on during these setbacks. Sometimes life is just a series of 2 steps forward 1 backwards. It seems disheartening at times but overall the motion IS forward.

  2. i can admit it now, through teary eyes... Lola was my favorite.
    She will make a beautiful garden...
    You will be okay.
    Without experiencng lows, we cannot fully enjoy the highs. praying this valley is short, and the mountain is long and high.

  3. Sad for you and Maria. Aren't there some flowers called Hen's teeth or Butter and Eggs? There is probably some appropriate flower. Or you can grow millet for Pip and Betty! (Women who write too much, I know what you mean!)

  4. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Lola was so cute! That is sad because of her as a pet chick per se and because of what she symbolized. :o(

    I hope you feel better really, really soon... Hey Natalie, have I told you lately that I love you - and that I love your family and your blog? Because I do.

  5. Oh Natalie, I write this with tears streaming down my face. Lola was my favorite. What a beautiful explanation you gave to Maria! This is another animal death in a long list of my friends. It must be a "thing" right now. I like the idea of planting a "hens and chicks" plant in Lola's garden, or food for her friends. Sometimes what seems like a setback is actually a nudge in the right direction.

  6. Such a sad tale, yet it need not be portentous of bad things.

    A short life can be a sweet one. Look at the joy she gave you. Look where her memory will be - attached to a garden that will bring you pleasure as you remember her.

    Big hugs. Plug on.

  7. So very, very sorry, Natalie that you all lost sweet little Lola...((BIGGEST HUGS)) to all...So glad you had the joy of knowing her though, however briefly. Take a little break if you need one, and know that we are here for you. :o)

  8. I'm sorry about this tiny loss that feels so big. Hugs to you and Maria.

  9. Oh poor babies. We adopted a kitten with a fatal disease last summer and you get so attached so fast.

    Lola was lucky to have a nice home and your loving care in her short life. I am sure that her little chicken energy will stay with your family and keep you moving forward in a good way.


Thank you for visiting.