Some hens were scratching the earth, looking for the bits of whatever that appeal to chickens. One hen was so engrossed in her dustbath, that I chose to sit beside her, and see if I could take that singular photograph that conveys the bliss and silliness that is a chicken's dustbath. The little golden hen met my gaze for a passing moment but she was too intent in her pursuit to be bothered, or dissuaded. Pepper, or Pippi, came along... and I can only tell the two Wyandotts by their toes. Pepper's toes are black, and Pippi's are pale. Pepper, or Pippi, walked over and around Ginger, curious, envious, determined to take a share. The activity attracted Fiona, then Koa. The dustbath became the place to be. Pepper gave up, and then a Thompson arrived. The Thompson left, and Liberty moved in. Liberty is one of the older hens, about four years old. Goodness, where does the time go? She was the one that always would take off in her own direction, fearless, a loner, with a turned beak, and a sweet disposition. Apolitical.
Mister Foo, our polka-spotted cat, came around, keeping a respectful distance, occasionally meowing conversationally. It seems this was a happy place for chickens, a cat, and me. We'd had a good dinner, with lots of fresh garden vegetables. Some laundry was done, and errands run. Inside, I could hear engaging conversations. Outside, birds were talking, too, and the air was both warm and cool, stirring. Not everything is going smoothly, not all of my worries are small, but in this space I was aware of the contentment of fine. A moment when things were good enough, and plenty of beauty surrounded me that I couldn't not be grateful. Sometimes "normal" sounds dull, or unspecial, but I have come to appreciate how refreshing and generous normal can be. The simple pleasure of not being hurried, of noting the feel of the air, watching the evening light, hearing laughter, the sounds of a safe and quiet time... and acknowledging that it's wonderful to have this space, time, freedom from fear, angst, hunger, pain, urgency. It's a happy place to be aware of normal, of quiet beauty, reflection, the simple activities of hens.
With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.
I hear that worry in your voice, and wonder, and hope for the very best and as always send comforting/healing/resolving thoughts. Making time to stop and breathe and wonder and enjoy is the best way, always, to recharge and gather strength.
I tried to whisper... there are so many worries, and plaintive cries filling the airwaves, I am reluctant to add to the din. Chickens help, and deep breathing, and something very soothing, and lovely... you, reaching out to me. Thank you, Jen. I find myself, more than ever, wistfully recalling October, our little adventures, and the optimism that flowed more easily, more confidently. It's not easy to bear in mind all that is good, amidst the rest... the unrest, the climate, mood, attitudes, and surreal news. And it's hard to keep it at bay, to not let the mood settle into heart and home. But all of this is too much, too heavy, for blogs, and comment threads. Even resolving to be stronger takes deep breathing, and something... something elusive.
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