This illustration is based on a previous “My Life With Gracie” drawing which has a blank neutral background. Each gives a different perspective.
Thanksgiving Day makes it official each year. The holiday season has begun. For most people it is time to share a meal together with friends and family. It often also means sharing gift lists or at least gift hints for whichever wintertime holiday is next to be celebrated.
Some people, I believe, just seem to have a talent for always giving “the perfect gift.” For me, it is an elusive skill. Gifts never seem to work out as wonderfully as I imagine they will.
Yet this weekend, my chickens and I gave each other the perfect gift. We just sat with each other and enjoyed a pleasantly sunny Sunday afternoon.
With the changing time and fewer sunlight hours, there is little light when I leave for work and even less when I get home. There are no long pleasant summer evenings or shorter brisk fall evenings to sit and discuss what is on our minds or share what is in our hearts.
So Sunday afternoon was a wonderful and most perfect gift. It was our time to be, simply be, together.
It was exactly what all of us needed, and particularly Amelia who waited until the others had gone to take dust baths to have a private conversation alone with me.
For a moment and perhaps longer, I thought of how quickly time was passing. Her time and my time will one day end.
Perhaps chickens know this from the beginning, but it takes people longer to realize.
Even as little chicks, they had their special best friends with whom to perch on their favorite brick. Everything is right with the world when they are perched way up high on a brick with their best buddies! They value each moment together.
When Amelia and Emily came to live with me, all they brought with them was each other. That was all they had, and it was enough. How different the world of people would be if we never cared about taking things with us, and only cared about taking people we love with us.
Amelia and Emily will always spend time perching together, like Blanche and Pearl, like Gracie and Bessie. Mostly they just sit and share the experience of enjoying the world around them. Like old friends, though not really very old at all, they give each other comfort, warmth, and time together.
Perhaps the greatest gift we could ever give or receive is simply time together as friends.
What a terrible heartbreak it would be if we were to hear as someone’s last private words to us, “Couldn’t you spend just one hour with me?”
My Life With Gracie made me wonder if an invitation to perch might be a perfect gift.
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