There is great value in slowing down, even if such restful slowing is thrust upon us. Internal rewiring continues, this seismic shifting written of recently. Illness continues to pervade the household, my hub hacking and racking in his own version of winter’s torture. The weather gods seem to be arguing over whether to allow winter’s arrival after all. I attempt daily forays out of doors to test my lungs with a bit of walking and jogging (I would not yet call said activity anything kin to ‘running’, but we must start somewhere. ) One day bundled in woolens, the next in shirt sleeves. It is no wonder Christmas dinners and gatherings are somewhat sparsely attended by extended family. Good to spend time with those healthy enough to be together.
Utilizing bits of energy hither and thither, my work space once more resembles a place ready for Deep Working and Fresh Thinking. It is the sunniest place in the house on a rare sunny day.
The morning routine here at Chez Bogard has been exponentially simplified with the unexpected offer to re-home our lone hen, Elvyra. I had been worrying over her, alone and cold without her sisters to snuggle up to, but had been loathe to take on new hens, thus perpetuating our chicken experience. I have adored keeping hens. I love their gentle chatter as they scritch in the yard for off-season insects on a warmish day. They make me laugh with their antics. (you really should see a chicken running across the yard sometime) And of course, when possible, there is the miracle of freshly laid eggs. But a lone hen is a depressing thing. They are not creatures built for solitude, but rather for more of a hive-minded existence.
With Elvyra as The Last Hen Standing, we were at once in a holding pattern and a decision making position as to whether or not to get more chickens. With the traveling we do, and some interesting and creative thoughts as to life once the kids leave college, we decided it might be best to opt out of hen-keeping for the time being, at least for a few seasons. And so, while catching up with a dear friend at our local music session (my first in weeks – I could hardly play without coughing or losing my lip to atrophy from disuse) she offered to introduce sweet old Elvyra to her young flock of hens – solving our lone hen/what do we do now question, while simultaneously offering a much better life for one lonely chicken.
Elvyra and I got along famously, but chickens just need other chickens.
So Farmer Kate arranged for a friend of hers to pick up Elvyra who’d been stashed in a crate for transport and we commenced Operation Chicken Hand-Off. I was nervous for her. Chicken introductions can be tricky. But in the end, I heard the next day that all is well.
Elvyra is keeping herself to herself, feeling a little shy in the first few days but observed to be roosting, eating and drinking. Her new flock is giving her the space she needs and there is no pecking-order business happening from either party.
With yesterday’s incredibly unseasonably warm temperatures, the flock explores the farm and scritches for bugs and Elvyra is apparently right at home. Remarkably simple creatures, chickens.
The cessation of our chicken adventure (which began with grassroots political change in our village to even legally have them!) leaves room for energies to be spent elsewhere. I continue to rest with complete abandon both body and soul. While not completely off line, a mindful avoidance of once-routine clickety behavior on my part and moderation/modification of such continues. Anxieties are still, blissfully, at bay. The blues may even be shifting and lifting, a bit, though I allow an engaged conversation between lightness and darkness in my heart to be ongoing. The ebbing and flowing between sadness and joy are the warp and weft of a wide awake life. It can be an uncomfortable state at times.
But, as Elizabeth Zimmerman has so aptly put it:
“Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.”
and so I do.
RIP Carrie Fisher, whom I heard passed away just a bit after posting this. This quote from her caught my eye and speaks eloquently on why we sometimes must share what we feel inside….
“It creates community when you talk about private things and you can find other people that have the same things,” Fisher told Terry Gross. “Otherwise I felt very lonely with some of the issues that I had.”
May we all continue to nurture our inner rebels with strength and grace and humor, as she did, both on screen and off.