Sunday, July 21, 2002

Here Comes the Sunshine!

I am listening to crowing. It is immature, unripened, and I liken it to a distant toot on the horn of a Model T. We've had a few accounts of Sunshine's crowing. A couple of days ago, one of the workers reported to me, laughing, that he heard poor Sunshine singing, "pero, feo!" Grandma heard what she supposed could be an inexperienced bird. She thought it was pretty ugly too! But this morning he has achieved a decidedly more pronounced rooster's crow. The note is bolder, the tone is fuller, and his composition is richer. It is not shrill, like a Bantam's, and so far he hasn't adopted the habit of crowing at every blade of grass (there aren't any, by the way). It is a sound I have waited to hear, and I like it. It reminds me of places I enjoy; Tacupeto, and Hamakua.

The other sound coming from the hen house is boastful, relentless and downright clucky. Luna has all of sudden become a scandalous clucker. She is loud and proud...hmmm

Egg! Egg! Egg! It's only one egg, but it bears repeating! It is small and rose brown, smooth and perfect. I found it in the metal tub Luna has adapted as her nest. It sat on the straw, like a patient gem, waiting to be discovered. Luna couldn't wait to be let out of the coop and to roam the garden, as is her daily habit. The egg has passed from child to child. A family of seven is about to enjoy an egg breakfast!

Requests are pouring in, while the egg sits in a milk glass dish, ceremoniously, on the kitchen table. Fry it, scramble it, divide it between everyone; maybe with chorizo, beans, potatoes and tortillas, or as part of pancake batter or a cake. Alex has reservations; did he hear the egg "cheep-cheep?" I want to assure him. "Luna didn't want to nest, and chicks are better off hatched in the spring. We'll try to collect a clutch, and see which hen enjoys nesting, in time for Easter." He feels better, and votes for "Cookies!" It's a circle of life thing; Spring is for chicks, and summer is for chocolate chips!

Luna is in the pasture, with her sisters and that strutting crooner. She laid her egg, and sang her song, and now she is content to scratch for grubs, and hop on the tops of the ripening pumpkins. Her frame is low and wide, and her plumage is plush and flamboyant, showy, but appropriate somehow. I marvel at the qualities of her visage. What is it about her appearance that conjures the very best qualities of maternity, nurturing femininity, warm and ample, an avian Earth Mother? I highly regard and admire her broad form, her generous proportions, her dignified and decorous trousseau.

I think Luna, and her sisters, have retained the natural qualities of being female, without excuses or shame, that humans in popular culture and media have abandoned or vilified, or distorted and exploited for profit. Fashion suggests a desire for flat, unobtrusive women; women with bodies that conform to clothes, or clothes that recreate the form all together. Pregnant women are supposedly celebrated, but a postpartum woman ought to appear as though nothing at all has changed about her body. Every extra pound and inch is a reflection of poor self will or lack of control. Luna is possessed of a body that is full figured, more so than Rosie or Gracie, and she looks good. She doesn't diet or fret. She hasn't scratched the words 'body shaper, please' in the dirt. And I haven't seen little Rosie pining away for a push up bra, or wondering where a hen can get her claws on some botox. They are a testimony to healthful living, in body and mind. I delight in their flighty, feathery, clucky pursuit of joyful living, unfettered and unabashedly themselves.

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