Tilly's Nest- peony (1)wp
Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Allowing Yourself to Bloom

Tilly's Nest- peony (1)wp
Tilly loved hanging out under this peony bush in the backyard.

If I take a deep breath and close my eyes I can still hear her and even smell her warm pine shaving scented feathers. Tilly has now been gone for two weeks. I did a lot of crying for the first few days. The smallest most mundane things would seem to set me off followed by tears rolling down my cheeks. Yet as each day passes, it gets easier.

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and everyone of you for your kindness and love-filled comments. I have read each and everyone of them and I am so glad to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. I have taken so much comfort in knowing that I am not alone in the mourning of a hen. I’m not crazy because I loved her and I am a better person because of it.

The final lesson that I learned from Tilly is finding love in the unexpected. When we open our hearts, let down our defenses, and allow ourselves to grow by learning from one another, we bloom.

This past week, the spring blooms have arrived. Tilly just missed them. Hanging out under the peonies was a favorite hideaway. The peonies, columbines, baptista, hostas and irises are all in full bloom. I have fond memories of Tilly meandering through the gardens and visiting me as I tended to the plantings and the soil. She was always such a curious henny girl.  It only seemed fitting that my garden should grow.

Yesterday I planted a beautiful hydrangea right near where Autumn, Dolly, and Tilly are buried. The variety is called Ruby Slippers (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’). Somehow ruby slippers seemed to call to me, kinda Dorothy like. I like to think that my girls are somewhere over the rainbow. The lovely oak leaf shaped leaves will be adorned with blooms that begin white, turn pink, and finally a deep shade of red. I can only imagine that if Tilly was still alive, this hydrangea might just be her new favorite hideaway.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest


Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.

  • diane in wis

    Can't wait to see pictures of your new hydrangea as it grows! May your beautiful memories of Tilly and other favorites continue to bring you peace and many smiles!

  • Hi Melissa, Ruby Sluppers is a beautiful hydrangea. I'm so glad you're using it to memorialize, Tilly, Dolly & Autumn. It puts on quite a show in the fall – how appropriate <3
    Tilly was a friend, teacher, and beloved pet. It will take a while to be accustomed to her absence. But every time you write about your birds, Tilly will be right there.
    XOX Linda Bickford

  • So beautiful. You touched my heart. Tilly, Dolly & Autumn wait for you at the Rainbow Bridge and can then click their "heels" three times to go home to Heaven with you. My heart is with you but I am so glad you have such beautiful thoughts and memories of your ladies for comfort. Love you and your sweet soul, my dear friend. <3

  • A lovely choice… and a beautiful tribute to your Tilly girl

  • Another lovely tribute to Tilly and all the loves in our lives. I hope you find continued comfort and peace in your memories till only the love is left in your heart.