My Life With Gracie…Kinds Of Beauty

Kinds Of Beauty

This illustration is based on my second “My Life With Gracie” drawing. It is still one of my favorites because it shows all six of my chickens as I think of them so often…just little chicks in awe of the world around them.

We are born with that same sense of awe as well, but at some point in life, it is often lost. Maybe a part of ourselves is lost along with it too.

What causes us to lose our sense of wonder? It may happen when we stop looking outwardly and begin to compare ourselves to others.

My neighborhood is home to so many songbirds, and they are almost always seen or at least heard in my yard. Yet my chickens never compare themselves to the songbirds. They never feel badly because they can’t sing like them, though they do have their own kind of singing. They never even try to imitate songbirds. But I do think they look, listen, and appreciate.

My house is right across the street from a vacant lot and a branch of the river. It’s marshy, and from time to time, tall graceful white egrets are wading there. My chickens watch them with interest, but they never try to walk like them or stand gracefully like them. But I do imagine they might like to go fishing or frogging with them!

My chickens don’t compare themselves to other birds. They don’t even compare themselves to each other. They are just fine being chickens, and they are just fine being who they are.

Even if a peacock came into the yard and presented a great display of feathers, their reaction would most likely be “Ho-Hum…I’ll bet all of those feathers get in the way of catching crickets.”

They don’t worry about being great singers, moving gracefully, or looking beautiful in the eyes of anyone else. Yet to me, they are all of these things and more, so much more.

Comparisons can be quite ugly when they make us doubt our own value, when they make us feel unworthy of life and unworthy of love. Comparisons can be even more ugly when we use them to try to make ourselves feel superior to someone else.

Oddly enough, the more you stand is awe and wonder of the beauty around you without any self-awareness, the more beautiful you become.

Everything and every person has their own unique kind of beauty. It’s there if you look for it. You are your own kind of beauty, and the world needs your kind of beauty.

My Life With Gracie taught me there are more kinds of beauty than we can ever count.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Kinds Of Beauty

Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

While I normally say “Hold onto your hearts!” for the photos shared on Fridays, this one is more like “Come and get it!”

This is a photo of one of Blanche’s first eggs. You can figure out which one is hers, right? Just as a refresher, you may remember from the last “Family Photo Friday,” I told you about Blanche’s plan to eat until she became to largest chicken ever. Well, that is just about the largest chicken egg ever! And it turned out to be a double yolk egg too!

Double yolk eggs happen most often when hens are just beginning to lay eggs while their bodies are still getting accustomed to the whole process. After all, there is a lot involved they need to get right! Plus it takes about 26 hours from start to finish to produce just one egg.

Since they lay later and later each day with this 26-hour cycle, eventually a hen will lay so late in the day they won’t start the whole process again until their body clocks sort of does a “reset” based on daylight. Then they begin laying early in the morning again. In the meantime, the get a well-deserved “day off”!

Blanche really struggled with this egg for an uncomfortably long time, and I’m sure you can see why. Not only was she still very new to laying eggs, but this one was huge compared to the ones beside it laid by Gracie and Bessie who were still larger than Blanche at the time. (But no longer!)

One of the things I always try to remember to do when I’m collecting eggs is to be thankful. I’m sure there are plenty of other things they would rather be doing other than laying eggs for me!

Once you have collected a still-warm egg from a hen’s nest, you may never look at at chickens or eggs the same. Both are gifts and treasures.

You can read more about all of my chickens on this page.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…From The Heart

From The Heart

This illustration is based on my first “My Life With Gracie” drawing. It is still one of my favorites of Gracie because of it’s simplicity and innocence.

Even with an elaborate background, this drawing reminds me how we can be both helpless and hopeful at the same time. Perhaps this is one of life’s delicate balances which must be maintained to move forward.

Every morning, in the early morning, my chickens begin to stir. They are waiting for the sun to come up and give them enough light to see. They are reminded of their limited sight as soon as they wake up at the start of each day. This is because they are unable to see in darkness or even in dim light.

They are listening for the sound of the back door opening which means I’m on my way to open up their coop, give them their morning breakfast of fresh vegetables, and help them down the ladder if it’s still too dark for them to see clearly.

They hear the back door, and their first low soft peeps are almost imperceptible unless you are listening for them. They are speaking from their hearts both timidly and hopefully.

They want to know if it’s a predator they hear or if it’s really me coming to greet them into their new day.

Once they hear me talking to them, even though they can’t see me, they seem relieved and are eager to discover which of their favorites are in their morning breakfast salad.

Are we like blind chickens in the dim early morning light?

Do we recognize life is so much bigger than we are and can suddenly spin out of control or be lost in an instant? Yet do we also sense life has a grand design? And if a design, then a designer who desires it all to succeed?

Perhaps unlike chickens, we can too easily be blind to our own blindness.

My Life With Gracie taught me the importance of speaking from my heart even if doing so reveals my helplessness and hopefulness.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

From The Heart