Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The Healing Powers of Chickens and Goats and Memories

Mister Washburn Foo knows there are healing powers in nature. He likes to get down, into nature, roll in it, pick up the dust like a souvenir to bring home. What a smart little polka spotted kitty. Foo is right... outside is good, nature, with trees, fresh air, garden chores, friendly faces, puttering around, or chasing waves, even sitting quietly, watching chickens and goats. It's good. I love Ada's sunshine face, where she's squinting against that late autumn light. It makes her look reflective and serene... and not just like a funny goat blinking. Tasha is smiling, too, and seeing I have no treats with me, she's going to stay put, in the warmth of the sun. Have I mentioned we are in a feather storm? It drifts, like snow does, and we have feather banks, and feather slopes, and pitiful looking birds! Mako was crossing the lawn with a single tail feather standing pertly on her tiny frame. None of them has gone completely featherless, but they are in a sad state. Such a terrible molt! Only the new hens are laying, looking composed and ready for winter.

Coming out to the run, to check on our critters, bring them garden beets, or a piece of licorice, to clean their water bowls, collect eggs... it always calms me, gives me a reason to smile. I like to sit on the overturned pot and watch the chickens eat, or bathe in the dust. I like to brush the goats, and talk to them. As long as I keep brushing, they pretend I have interesting things to say. Gentle companions, without complicated agendas, or laundry lists of grudges, resentments. Their politics are simple: Food for all, safety, scratches, sun and shelter. Easy.

This winter we are going to make an extra special nature visit... to sit in the redwoods, beside a stream, follow paths up deep fern canyons. If we're lucky it won't be raining, much, then we can hike and linger, and gaze skyward where the tops of redwood trees meet streaming light. I can think of other places, like this one, where I know I can breath easier, feel better, and it makes me thankful... to have been in nature, to have been in so many good corners of the world that I can summon their memory, and feel glad, content, inspired. If it were a gift I could give, I would share it with everyone: Time to be somewhere beautiful, fresh, natural, uplifting, inspiring. In a garden, on a farm, staring into an aquarium, hiking a favorite trail, resting beneath a tree, digging a hole, planting a bulb, making mud, following a river, skipping stones... I'd love it if everyone could be in touch with the world, with their own breath, with our common light.

1 comment:

Snickelfritz said...

I agree with you. Being in nature is very comforting and peaceful. I don't know how people manage in big cities where there are few trees and few wild animals. I also love to sit and watch my chickens. Once in a while one will jump up on my lap and just sit there in companionship with me. So sweet.