My Life With Gracie…Immersed In The Joys Of Life

Immersed In The Joys Of Life

“Gracie, what do chickens think about death?” I asked. It had been a few days since we had our “We Are Not Sparrows” conversation, and I had been thinking over what she had told me as well as what she had not told me.

“What do you mean?”

“What do chickens believe happens to them when they die?”

Gracie looked up at the sky above us. There was a beautiful patch of blue beginning to show where the rain clouds had parted.

Maybe she wanted to find the right words to express something she felt needed no words. Maybe she simply lived out whatever the words were rather than trying to make her life fit what the words meant.

“It’s not something we worry and fret over, if that is what you mean.”

“Is there anything else?” I asked, not wanting to give up so easily.

“Those words are hard to find. Chickens don’t think about death the way most people do,” she said and then added, “But I have questions for you too.”

I smiled. (What else could I do?)

“Why ponder what death is about when we are right in the middle of all this life? It is everywhere around us. We are swimming in an ocean of life. Isn’t it much more important to understand what life is about?”

I thought back to all of the times I had seen Gracie and Bessie when they were young and exploring the world, completely immersed in the joys of life. Although she is older and more mature now, she has still held onto something which I had lost or given up long ago as a child.

“Surely a good understanding of life will hold the key to understanding death,” she said.

“So what do chickens think about life?”

“Those words are easy to find. Life is a gift. You cannot give it to yourself. It is given to you. Where there is a gift, there is always a giver. Life is a gift with a purpose, and that purpose is to make more gifts.”

She said all of this with great confidence, as if all baby chicks come into the world knowing these simple truths. Perhaps they do. Perhaps children do too.

“Life is a gift we were given so we can be a gift to our part of the world. If we busy ourselves in life with being a gift rather than receiving a gift, we have no time to think about what will happen in death.”

“So if everyone is busy being a gift and giving a gift…” I began.

“…Eventually the world will be filled with gifts from the goodness of life. There will be no room for anything else. Not even death,” she concluded.

“Gracie, that is a beautiful way of looking at life.”

“It is the chicken way of looking at life.”

Then, probably so I wouldn’t feel so bad for not being a chicken (or a child anymore), she added, “But it can also be a never-too-late way of looking at life.”

So when I receive this season’s gifts of crayon-scribbled cards and misshapen cookies made by little hands, I will enjoy them differently. They will also be gifts from Life seeking to fill the world with goodness until there is no room for anything else…except maybe just one more still-warm, ooey, gooey, chocolate chip cookie!

My Life With Gracie gave me hope that one day the world will be completely filled with the infinite goodness of Light and Life and Love.

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

If the background looks familiar, you’re right. It is adapted from Vincent Van Gogh’s painting titled “Starry Night” which he painted in 1889. This and many of his other works always make me feel as if I am swimming in the joys of life because they are filled with the goodness of Light and Life and Love.

For me, Van Gogh’s art is an example of what this post is about. I wonder, did he perhaps have a chicken or two?!?

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” by Charlie Lee Austin

Gracie’s Special Reading List

“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers with something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one by Charlie Lee Austin is the first non-fiction eBook. This is a change for my chickens and I, but it is a good change because this book is filled with inexpensive ideas for celebrating Christmas.

You might think of this book as a collection of shiny Christmas ornaments all in a big box which someone has collected over the years. You can examine them and choose the ones which seem right and best for you depending on your particular needs. Keep in mind, the eBook is 892 pages long, and so it would be nearly impossible to do everything! But there are sparkling ideas to try.

One of our favorite ideas, a giving kind of idea, came at the end of the book. My chickens and I enjoyed this because we live in the Tidewater area of Virginia which is home to many of our active and retired service members from all branches. (Our home city of Portsmouth is designated as an “Official Coast Guard City” and is also home of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.)

“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” is free if you have Kindle Unlimited (which I don’t), but it is also available as a purchased eBook or paperback through Amazon.

Charlie blogs at Simply Chronically Ill and provides inspirational posts for a large number of readers affected by a wide variety of conditions. Charlie’s posts are always positive and encouraging.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write!

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Gracie’s Special Reading List
“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers who also have something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one will not have a full review from my chickens because I’m saving it to be their Christmas Eve story. But I did share this description with them from the back of the book:

Emmie the Elf works hard, running errands and sweeping out reindeer stalls, but Santa’s newest helper still finds herself grounded on Christmas Eve. Can Emmie prove she’s capable of higher things in time for next Christmas?

“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Here are their first impressions based on just the small amount of information I’ve given them.

“I am eager to hear this story on Christmas Eve. We did get a sneak peak of the Dedication Page, and we all agreed that Digger is adorable.” Gracie

“Yes, the Dedication Page said Digger wasn’t afraid of Christmas crackers. At first I thought it would be silly to be afraid of crackers. You just eat them, but then I learned that Christmas crackers mean something completely different in England where Digger and the author live.” Bessie

“It sounds like Emmie and I have a lot in common. I can do more than what others think I can do. I was able to sneak a peak inside the book and there was a funny looking guy wearing sunglasses and a hat. You know I’m going to love hearing all about that because I love hats and costumes!” Pearl

“Emmie’s name sounds a lot like mine, so I know I will enjoy this story. The part about cleaning out reindeer stalls sounds icky. Ew! But I’ll bet she still does it in a very lady-like way.” Emily

“There are supposed to be flying things in this story, so I’m really looking forward to learning about them and about faraway places like the North Pole. I also like that this is a story told as a poem. I like poetry. A lot.” Amelia

“A Year Before Christmas” is available through Amazon in the U.S. and  Amazon in the UK and would make a great stocking-stuffer gift.

Cathy is one of several writers in the same writing group named The Whittlesey Wordsmiths, and many have websites. You can find Cathy at “Writing Wrinkles” and her friends Wendy at “Wendy Wordsmith” and Phil at “Fenland Phil’s Blog”. Take some time to visit their writing websites because I think you will enjoy them.

The Whittlesey Wordsmiths have also published other books on Amazon, so you may want to do a search there for “Whittlesey Wordsmiths” to view all of their books.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write! Best wishes to all of the Whittlesey Wordsmiths!