Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

This is part of a series I’ve shared from time to time about Amelia and how she wants to be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back. Here is the most recent posting if you are a new reader or just want a refresher before reading today’s story.

“Those are really nice. What are they for?” Emily was examining some of my flower drawings.

“They are part of a Hatchday surprise for Gracie and Bessie.”

“You know I love our garden home. I love watching things bloom and grow.”

“Yes, I know. Whenever we have free-range time in the backyard and garden, you’re always the one who walks down the garden paths before scratching for any bugs.”

“The bugs will always be there, but the flowers are only with us for a season.”

“You know, Emily, you are a bit of a philosopher.”

“I don’t know what I am other than a chicken. Everyone else has a special interest. Gracie has ballet. Bessie has cooking. Pearl has comedy. Blanche has eating. I don’t have anything.”

“You didn’t mention Amelia.”

“I know.”

“Why?”

“Because she wants to fly away and be an explorer. She is going to be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back.”

“And she will leave you behind?”

Emily looked down at her feet.

“I’m afraid she’s going to leave me forever. She is the only friend I’ve known for my whole life. It’s not easy for me to make new friends. I’m small.”

“I know. But as hard as it is on you thinking about Amelia maybe leaving, it could be even harder on Amelia. If we love her, we can’t stand in her way or make her feel guilty.”

Emily sank to the ground. It was as if the weight of all this was more than she could bear.

“This may be the most difficult thing you and I will ever have to do. But we will have to do it for Amelia.”

Emily raised her head and looked off into the camellias where the song birds like to build their nests. “Sometimes I want to tell her not to go,” she said, raising her voice almost in anger, but she held back.

“Sometimes I want to beg her to please take me with her,” she said softly as if to cry.

“But I know I can’t go with her. I wouldn’t survive. I’m not as strong as she is. I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I’m smaller, and I’d only hold her back. She would be so worried about protecting me that she might lose her focus and get hurt herself. I can’t let that happen.”

She rested her head on my shoe, and we sat together for a while, neither of us saying anything.

“Emily, it is a beautiful gift and sacrifice you are willing to give Amelia.”

“What do you mean?” She looked up at me, unaware of her own goodness.

“I mean if you asked her, she would take you with her, and you would be happy. But you know it would risk her life. So you don’t ask. You are giving up your happiness to let her do what she must do to find her own happiness.”

“I love her so much.”

I nodded in silent agreement.

“She will always be our Amelia. But we must remember she must always be her own Amelia first.”

After a long silence, Emily said, “I like the daffodils.”

“They really are bright and cheerful, aren’t they? Are they your favorite? We can plant even more of them if they are your favorite.”

“I’m not sure if I have a favorite.”

“Yes, I know what you mean. A big part of designing a nice garden is putting different things side-by-side so everything looks like it belongs together. One plant compliments another one, just like you and Amelia compliment each other even though you look different.”

“Do you think we can plant more of everything? And make it so there are flowers blooming all of the time?”

“That sounds like a beautiful idea. But why blooming all of the time?”

“So maybe when Amelia has flown up to the moon, she can look back down and see all of the flowers here in our yard. And so maybe she will discover she misses them. I don’t think they have flowers on the moon.”

She took a deep breath and whispered very hopefully, “And so maybe she will discover she misses us too.”

“Emily, I think she already misses us, even though she hasn’t left yet.”

She considered this carefully and said, “Then I think all of the flowers will help Amelia find her way back to us. She will know which house is ours by all of the flowers everywhere.”

She had a more determined tone in her voice which was good to hear. I stood up and reached for my shovel.

“Emily, you can help with adding more flowers, whatever kinds you’d like. Maybe gardening is your special interest. For today, let’s divide and transplant the Japanese Iris. They are just starting to come up, and now is the time before it’s too late.”

Emily seemed happy to be doing something to help move forward in her own way. She began searching for a new and perfect spot for them. “I think they are one of Amelia’s favorites. They are beautifully tall and slender. They reach for the sky just like she does.”

“You’re right.” I agreed.

I started digging and Emily started scratching in the spot she had chosen. It was nice to see her putting her worries aside for a time.

“And Emily, I can guarantee there are absolutely no Japanese Iris plants on the moon.”

Emily was delighted to hear this.

My Life With Gracie (and especially Emily) taught me beautiful things always help you find your way back home.

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

31 thoughts on “Beautiful Things”

  1. Maybe, Emily is the guardian of the “fire of the hearth”..? She takes care of the home as a save haven and hideaway to which her feathered sisters always can come back to. She will keep all secrets of the coop confidential and therefore, will be known for her wisdom and foreknowledge like Frigg (Old Norse goddess). Thus, Emily is so much concerned of others.
    By the way, in German the meaning of the name Emily is: From the Old German Amalburga, meaning labor / hard working…Emily is hard working to make plants (and others) bloom so that their efforts finally bear fruits. Have fun gardening! 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱 🌼

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that! “Guardian of the Hearth Fire”! I love even more the German meaning of her name! That fits her so well! Not only as a story character but as a real chicken as well! Thank you so much for these additional insights!

      I have been considering a short novel about this storyline of Amelia flying to the moon and back or “to see if I can be lost and not afraid” as she had said. But I realized I need to have some type of story happening if and when she does actually fly away to explore the world and learn more about herself…so I have been imagining what that would be like for Emily. She would be the best one to fill the time in the story while we are waiting to see if Amelia will return or not.

      As always, thank you for reading and sharing some additional insights to Emily!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Perhaps, Amelia and Emily will help each other. Amelia will help herself by traveling because this is her dream and she needs to unfold her potential but also learn about her limitations. Emily will be the one who fan wind under Amelias wings. Emily could be a loving enabler because she will ensure that there will be home to always come back. And I can imagine that Amelia could satisfy Emily`s need for a purpose of life…as guardian of “the fire of the heath”…a kind of lighthouse so that wayfarers, travelers and adventurous spirits like Amelia won`t get lost.

        Yes, Amelia will need a trigger to start her journey and leave the nest in particular if it is so comfy like your coop. In my view, it doesn`t need to be a negative experience pushing her to go forward. It could be an external trigger from outside pulling her even more. ..or another inner acknowledgement that she should jump over her shadow (German proverb), let reservations go —and just do it!
        So, why does Amelia still hesitate?

        You`re right. Maybe, Amelia won`t feel the desire to fly to the moon so strongly in future. Being an “Amelia” chick, I can confirm that it won`t help to discover that finally alll Amelias come back home…with a bundle of experiences, bigger self-confidence, increased awareness – and greater appreciation of the nest they come from….but driven Amelias will stay always strangers wherever they are….also at home. To accept this and appreciate it as an enrichment…also for Emilys.
        I draw a couple of Zen-inspired cartoons about traveling and the quest for contentment as you know. My conclusion is that you will find contentment just in yourself and not at a place…because you will always take yourself with you.
        So, what is Amelia actually searching for and why does she think to need to visit the moon in order to find it?
        It is about the journey and not about the destination. maybe, Amelia doesn`t need to go to the moon to find it. Maybe, she just would enjoy the preparation of the trip and the traveling itself?

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      2. You have shared some ideas and questions here which are very interesting!

        Yes, I too wonder why Amelia is hesitating. In my mind, it’s because she is getting back to her best potential flight weight (dropping a few pounds!), but part of it too is (as a writer) how will I write about actually not being able to fly to the moon? Just like Emily “believes” you can be on the moon and see houses and flowers back on the earth, Amelia “believes” she can fly to the moon and back.

        Do I break the rules of science? How do I resolve the whole gravity thing? I enjoy their childlike innocence about scientific things and, by contrast, their keen awareness of heart-felt things.

        But I’m rambling here! Thank you for some good ideas to ponder!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. But Amelia is capable to fly to the moon! Maybe, it is not so much important that she will actually do it. It is her attitude, spirit and ability to create vision and challenge / push her limits. Her curiousity and open.-mindedness that allows her to discover something new.
        Amelia could also discover that she doesn`t know her fascinating universe – she is living in (on Earth) – at all….and start to explore it with a new perspective. This change of thoughts could be triggered by a surprising incident that makes her to look at her coop, family and its neighborhood with fresh eyes – questioning her believes, perceptions and assessments.

        Well, I am sure Emily is already one step ahead of Amelia….when she used the metapher of seeing their home from moons perspectives. What wise Emily (alias Frigg/Frija) possibly tried to say is that you have to win distance and change perspectives to see your home….and to feel at home, where you come from.

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      4. From one adventurous to chick to the other…if you´ve satisfied your wanderlust, you might enter the next level….an inner journey for discovery yourSelf….and then you will rediscover your nest with a changed perspective and more appreciation, tolerance but also with a couple of new ideas….Amelias are needed for further development.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hahahaha…You got it!
        Pls., see my last response before I read this reply of yours.

        By the way, thank you for the vocabulary “in-/outward”.

        Like

    1. Thank you, Kanisha! I am so glad you enjoyed this, especially since it’s a lot longer than what I usually write. I was also unsure about the ending, so I am so appreciative that you understood it and found it to be a good one! Thanks again! Emily thanks you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! And we did actually divide and transplant the Japanese Iris today! It turned out to be a perfect day for it because we had a good soaking rain last night. (That particular plant loves wet soil, or as Emily might say, “It likes to have its feet wet”!) To me honest, everyone’s focus was more on fat earthworms! Wet soil is perfect for earthworm hunting!

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