I think during the holidays, I seem to find myself thinking about the blessings that I am fortunate to have. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people happy. What makes me happy. I mean truly at the core. I’m not talking about the happiness that is fleeting, like when you buy a new outfit. I’m talking about the kind of happiness that lives in your heart and soul. What I am discovering is that despite being surrounded by “friends” on social media and interacting with them on a daily basis. Many people rarely touch on their loneliness and lack of belonging. I rarely talk about a dark time in my life. It was oh so long ago, but it was a time filled with self-discovery, mistakes, miracles, and the sense of belonging while on the brink of death.
I turned everything off today. The television, social media and unplugged. I decided to take the kids and get a breath of fresh air and visit the neighbors. With eggs in tow, we decided to slow down and visit with the neighbors. We decided to spread joy.
Earlier this week, if you follow me on Facebook, you saw that I hurt my foot. I actually walked into the couch during my typical morning family routine. I was rushing and the couch surely won. At first, I felt no pain. This was how I knew that I had done a doozy on my foot. Then seconds later the pain flooded in. It was horrific! I yelped and knew that this was not your average stubbed toe.
In times when there is so much animosity, violence, sadness, mistrust, political unrest and economic woes I find it difficult to learn of new struggles somewhere in the globe everyday. I don’t like to watch the news on the television anymore. The stories that they tell are predominantly of strife. Instead on warm summer evenings, I’d rather turn on the Chicken TV!
You see, most things are right in my world of chickens.
For the most part, everyone gets along. There is an occasional tiff over a freshly found worm, a favorite nesting box take-over or having first dibs on fresh treats from the kitchen but no one takes to violently harming or killing another.
They have respect for one another. They understand one another’s position in the flock and know that each position that is held is necessary for the flock to run smoothly.
The awkward teenage years are short lived.
No one goes hungry or thirsty.
Everyone has a bedtime snack.
They feel safe at night locked up in their coop.
They always wake up in a wonderful mood, happy to live another day and enjoy the outdoors.
Family is important. They are always together.
They seek comfort and companionship. Even on the warmest of summer evenings, they still nuzzle together close as can be up on the perches.
They enjoy the art of relaxing.
They love a good nap.
They like to be clean and take elaborate long baths in the dust. Sometimes a few bathe together.
They believe in sharing. The roosters always give up their precious finds to the ladies.
Chivalry is not dead. It is alive and well in all flocks with roosters.
They don’t have iphones or any other distracting electronic devices.
They are colorblind and can live harmoniously in a flock with many different breeds.
They take care of their young.
They live life to the fullest.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest
Unspeakable tragedies have been occurring all over the United States. My heart is heavy and my mind is distracted from everyday things. To say that life has been easy would be an understatement-Boston, Texas, a dear family friend whose husband’s parents were taken in a freak accident last week and a family member that clings to life in the hospital. These days are trying. I find that somehow when visiting the chickens these things, if only for a moment, melt away from my mind. My flock and friends’ flocks have changed, faced predators, and suffered sad and painful losses sometimes with mass casualties These birds continue to teach me more about life each day and for that I am grateful.
Each Day is a New Day. No matter what happened yesterday, the sun will always rise, life will always be filled with new opportunities and new adventures.
Seize the Day. Always make each day a good one. Seek the silver linings even in the gloomiest of days.
Let you heart find closure. Saying forever goodbyes or dealing with tragedy is one of the most difficult things that we face as human beings. Find a place in your heart to keep the happy memories.
Camaraderie. Being alone during these difficult times is not the answer. Seek comfort with family and friends and begin to make new memories to replace the hurt.
Persevere. Continue on never forgetting yet don’t fill your days with dwelling on the past.
Be Brave. Face your fears head on. Stand tall and protect those smaller than you.
Believe in the good of those around you. (Unless of course, you live with my friend Lauren’s chicken, Lil’ White.)
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest
Dolly has no head feathers. She has been bald above the eyes for a while now. It all started in the spring, when she had one of her broody bouts; mind you she goes broody about every three weeks. That is just how Dolly is. It is a vicious cycle. Two days ago, I noticed that Dolly’s head feathers were finally returning again. Beautiful dark pin feathers were filling in the bald vacancies. They were about a half an inch long. Was she finally going to have some poofy Silkie feathers? Alas it wasn’t meant to be.