True Iridescence

True Iridescence

“Why do you always draw me small? Like I’m still a just-hatched chick?” asked Emily as she peered over my sketch pad.

I thought about this for a moment because I wasn’t completely sure how to answer.

“I draw everyone as a just-hatched chick sometimes, even Gracie.”

“Yes, I know, but you’ve never drawn me as a grown-up hen with my comb and wattles and everything.”

“That’s true.”


Emily is seldom persistent like this. She only gets this way when it’s something really important like when everyone else isn’t giving her space to eat breakfast salad or mealworms. It is not always easy for her because she is the smallest.

“Maybe part of the reason is I never really saw you growing up every day like the others. I used to visit you and Amelia when you were little. You probably don’t remember because the world was so new to you then, but I did.

“There were twenty-four of you in that huge brooder box and playpen. There was so much going on all of the time. It was tough to keep track of who was who, except for Amelia. She liked to fly up to the top of the play pen and walk around.”

“Yes, I remember. There were a lot of us. But I didn’t stand out from the others did I? Not the way Amelia did?”

Her heart would have loved for me to say I had picked her out right from the beginning as a very special baby chick, but I had to be truthful.

“What matters is how you stand out now. Even with people, it’s not easy to see who is special in a crowd. It takes time and time together.”

“So it’s not because I’m smaller than all of the others?”

“No, not at all.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Well, when I draw you so young, it helps me imagine you as if you had always lived here with me from your very first day. Sometimes I wish you and Amelia had been here with me from the beginning.

“But if you had been here with me from the beginning, I would not have been able to choose you. I like how I was able to choose you because of who you are rather than who you might become after you got here.”

She seemed pleased with all of this and turned to look for sunflower kernels.

“And Emily, to be totally honest, I’m not sure I can draw your grown-up hen feathers as beautifully as they truly need to be drawn. I don’t know how to draw iridescence, and everything about you is iridescent.”

She stood a little taller and poked out her breast a little farther. “You always know exactly what to say.”

“I just speak from my heart, Emily, and my heart adores everything about you.”

My Life With Gracie (and especially Emily) taught me the biggest hearts are often covered with iridescent feathers.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

28 thoughts on “True Iridescence

  1. I looked up iridescence: “Iridescence (also known as goniochromism) is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes.” from wikipedia. So: when we look at someone from all different angles, their internal colors gradually change as we change our point of view and the angle of our own illuminating perceptions. Yay, Emiliy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judi, thank you so much for this additional insight into “iridescence”! It definitely adds a deeper understanding to Emily, a sweet little lady if there ever was one! She is so often overlooked because of her size, yet she is such a dear little hen. Thanks again!


  2. “I just speak from my heart, Emily, and my heart adores everything about you.”…

    I adore you and all your girls. No matter what life brings my way, you and your girls always manage to make me smile! 🙂 Well done! All of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This makes me think of how human parents often remember their kids as toddlers. Maybe it is that child like connection to God, the youthfulness helps remind us all of.
    In other news, I for the first time in my life held a baby chic someone I knew had just bought for their brown eggs. Their feathers are so soft and their spirit was so lively for something so tiny and brave. Be well and thanks for sharing the lives of your feathered ones.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Frankly speaking, I didn`t heard of this award before I was nominated. I guess, the focus is on networking. But of course, I thought of you immediately, John. I hope your Easter Egg is progressing well! 🐣

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this post. I have a friend whose granddaughter sometimes chicken sits for me. This young girl has been severely depressed lately. In fact, I really fear for her. So I invited my friend to come to morning prayer/meditation this week. When she arrived, she was carrying a framed photograph. When she revealed it to me it was of her granddaughter as a toddler. Brought us both to tears. We set the photo up in the center of our circle and held this precious girl in prayer and the light. I will always remember my own children as you do Emily. Small is mighty! Thank you for your loving care of these precious chickens. They are quite often God’s messengers to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prayer is a powerful thing. I love the part about the photo of the granddaughter as a toddler. I think God sees us in a way that we do not (and cannot) see ourselves or each other. (I don’t really have scripture verses to back that up, just that it seems logical if God exists outside of time and space). I think God sees us at all of the stages of life, including and especially as young children. We may see ourselves as all grown up, but he still sees us as the child we once were, hopeful, innocent, perhaps afraid or unsure of ourselves and life, but trusting and responsive to his great love.


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