I visit our chickens everyday. To feed them, to check their water, to collect eggs, and scoop chickenblogs. The goats, too, get regular visits and attention from me. But sometimes I sit with them, because they make the world, problems, stresses, frustrations, and shock, a little easier to face. I can watch them go about their silly and simple lives, and feel my breathing slow, my heart calm. They don't fuss if I'm crying, they don't say cliched things, or tell me to feel better. They take me as I am, flaws and all. Flaws and all... there's something to that. Chickens are great, and they are flawed, but there is no pretense, no shame. They don't wax, or wear concealer. A chicken doesn't get worked up over social media posts, or judge your style. If they could vote, they'd endorse clean air, clean water, clean food, room for everyone on good roosts. So, when I am with them, I find I can be myself, too, and appreciate the essentials, let go of judgement, self-conscious cares. And I can resolve issues, fix problems, manage to make an appreciable difference in their lives... that feels good, it's gratifying. It's encouraging.