With “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” at last in print, I am eager to get back to drawing and posting new story ideas and illustrations. This is a “to be continued next time” story and illustration…I don’t know where either will be going.

It is late October, early November. The garden plants have put forth their last and best efforts. They sense winter is coming and their lives will end. Daytime grows shorter. Nighttime grows colder.

They are doing their best to carry on into the future. The okra, the tomatoes, and the eggplants have put out blossoms and then their last fruits. None will have time to mature. The tomatoes, if they are fortunate, may get a slight blush, but most will remain hard and green. None will mature. The first frost will see to that. But they will try. They may succeed. Who knows? It is not for me to say.

Their lives seem so much like my own. Make something, make anything, just one thing that will continue on past the coming winter, past the time when I am gone.

I feel that for my chickens too. We can have no roosters in the city, only hens. “No roosters” means “no future.” Gracie’s sweet disposition and kind heart will end with her. We truly have only here and now to make a mark.

And so I draw. And then I write about what I draw. And I feel the same sense of urgency my garden plants are expressing in their final fruits of the season.

I tell Pearl, “People will always know how much you and Blanche meant to each other and what a glad and joyful heart you have.”

I tell Emily and Amelia, “People will always know how one of you was the first chicken to fly to the moon and back and how the other one made that possible.” 

I tell Bessie, “People will always know what a strong defender you are of life and fairness and respect.”

And I whisper softly into Gracie’s ear, “People will always know how full of grace your heart has always been. They will know how we danced together in the streets of Paris even if only in a drawing.”

Once everyone has been reassured, I return to my sketchbook and study the fall tomato vines. They have become bent and beaten down by the heavy winds and rains that have come at the end of hurricane season. Their growth has become straggly in search of more sunlight in the shorter days. They remind me of the lines on a face, the lines on a heart, the lines on a map. 

When I look up from my sketchbook, I see Amelia doing something I have never seen her do before, and I know I must add her to the drawing…

Our latest paperback book, “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” is finally now available through Amazon around the world! I truly appreciate all of the warm wishes and positive comments from you, our readers. Your encouragement throughout the process made this a much better book than I would have been able to make on my own!

25 thoughts on “Map Of Our Garden World

  1. Your drawings are excellent as always.
    Autumn is a mixed season a beautiful show of colour in the dying leaves but the sadness in the loss of light as the days shorten. The real problem with Autumn is that it opens the door to winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know that you also drew!
    Today I lost my favorite chicken, Pippen, and my heart is totally broken. I have been crying most of the day………the ONLY mention this because I know that you would understand………thank you for reading……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wendi, I’m so saddened to hear about Pippen. I completely understand. My chickens and I will keep you in our evening prayers. I promise. You did get the book I sent to you, didn’t you? Amazon said it was delivered, but I want to make sure it got to you. Your friends, John, Gracie, Bessie, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so very much for understanding John, I knew that you would. I also deeply appreciate your prayers as I am having a really hard time focusing on much other than our loss.
        Yes, thank you, I did receive your book today. I have to go pick up my mail and I sometimes only get there about once a week, so I apologize for the delay!
        I hope today has been very kind to all of you, as you have been to me and I look forward to reading your beautiful book this week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are very welcome, Wendi.

        Just so you know, the book is dedicated to Blanche who left us on Easter Sunday last year. That affected us all, especially Pearl who is the main character and Blanche’s true best friend. It is part of the story and would not be right to leave that out. It does bring the joy of Christmas into sharper focus.

        It may be a tender time for you for a while, so if you’re unable to read right now, I certainly understand. I just wanted to make sure that it arrived safely for when you are ready.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you so much for letting me know. My youngest daughter was with me when we were at our box and she read this to me and we both started to cry………so, I know I won’t be able to read the book this week but I am hoping that by next week I will mentally be able to handle it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever become so close to a chicken! 🙂 Thank you again for your sincere kindness.

        Liked by 1 person

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