My Life With Gracie…But Is That Enough?

But Is That Enough?

There are times when I wish my life was very different. Some sorrow comes with such awareness to be sure, but there is a much greater sorrow in thinking my chickens might wish their lives were very different too.

Yet the life they have is the only life most of them have ever known. Only Amelia and Emily ever had hours upon hours of free backyard time out in the country to explore and fly together with their original flock mates. They were magnificent.

Zoning ordinances forced them to find new homes because even though they were in a rural area, they didn’t live on at least five and a half acres of land. Now, here on less than a quarter acre city lot, they are legal and safe, and those things must count for something.

Even though they can’t fly freely like before and even though they don’t understand how their fate might have been otherwise, they do have a life and a home. But is that enough?

When Amelia and Emily came to live with us, my greatest concern was they might come to hate life here in the city compared to their relative life of freedom in the country. As beautiful as they are, it would be so selfish if my happiness was obtained by their sorrow.

I worried about Amelia the most because more than anything she loves to fly. Then one evening, I realized there just might be something she loves more than flying.

The days were growing shorter then because it was the fall season. I had less and less time after work to sit with my chickens before they went up into their coop for the night.

Gracie would always be first because she is the leader and may also have the weakest eyesight. Amelia would always be last. Perhaps that is because her eyesight is the strongest, but I think it also may be because she loves adventure and doesn’t want to miss anything.

Eventually there would be no daylight left when I got home, and they would all be up in their coop, waiting patiently to be “tucked in” for the night and secured against nighttime predators.

We would still say all of our sweet “good night” wishes the way we always did and talk together just a bit before saying our evening prayers, but it always felt different with only the twilight darkness.

Then that one evening, the unexpected happened. There was a little daylight still left when I got home. I turned off the truck engine, opened the door, and heard the sweetest and most innocently hopeful little sound ever. It was the sound of two chicken feet softly landing on the ground.

My heart knew who it was before my eyes saw. Of course, it was Amelia. She had jumped down out of the coop.

By the time I got to the backyard, I saw her pacing quickly back and forth at the front of their run. At first, I thought there was some type of problem which had alarmed her. Had there been a predator stalking them? Would I need to settle a dispute because someone was in her favorite nighttime roosting spot?

When I got in the run, Amelia gave me that look which only Amelia can give me. Then she pecked and pulled at the legs of my pants the way she always does when she wants to be picked up and held.

So I picked her up and held her close in my arms. It was the sweetest of sweet “good night” moments I have ever had. It seemed to last forever.

As much as she loves her freedom to fly, Amelia loves being held just a little bit more. She doesn’t have to say it. She just lives it.

Now I know there is probably more I can write here about how sometimes life turns out differently for us than what we expect and about how sometimes we give up some of our valued freedom to obtain something much more valuable. But right now, I just want to rest in the moment and believe it really is enough…for both of us.

My Life With Gracie (and especially Amelia) showed me the beauty of a sweet “good night.”

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

But Is That Enough?

My Life With Gracie…When We Are Loved

When We Are Loved

Something my chickens act as if they understand what I’m telling them even though they really don’t…and I do the same with them when they are talking to me.

Does it matter? I think not. Whatever is said with love is always understood on some level.

I can tell them, “Just one more wake up, and then we will have the weekend together!” But they don’t understand “weekend,” at least not until something is different in their routine.

I can tell them, “Tomorrow we will play in the backyard and look for bugs!” But until they are actually doing it, that time doesn’t exist.

I don’t think nailing up a clock or calendar in their coop would help, though pecking at them could be entertaining. Wristwatches wouldn’t help either because chickens don’t have wrists. It is a bit perplexing.

Clocks, calendars, and wristwatches…well, those are best used as reminders for when we will next be with the ones we love, don’t you think? But those things don’t work with chickens.

You see, chickens don’t understand very much about time. They only know when they feel loved, but that’s the way it is for most animals and sometimes people too. It is especially true for young children and for some people as they age, at the beginning of life and at the end of life.

Maybe you know someone for whom one day feels like the next.

You may tell them, “I will see you tomorrow,” or “I will see you next weekend,” but they don’t understand when that will be. They only understand when you are there and when you aren’t. They only understand when they feel loved and when they don’t.

When you are with them, perhaps you are blessed in a way you may never quite comprehend. You may, just for a while, lose your own sense of time as well. Love can do that.

To not feel time and to only feel love seems to perhaps be touched by the Eternal, the Love which always has been and always will be.

My Life With Gracie showed me how some of us don’t understand days, times, and seasons, but we all understand when we are loved.

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

When We Are Loved

A Brief Retrospective On December 2018

Retrospective December 2018

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective just might be helpful before launching into new posts for a new year. Epiphany Sunday seems like a nice day for our final retrospective of December 2018, particularly since the most popular posts that month were about Christmas themes.

These are the most popular posts from December 2018, our fifth month of “My Life With Gracie” Posts on WordPress!

First “Most Popular” Post

“My Life With Gracie…How To Explain Christmas To Chickens (Part 2)” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (For me, this was one of my all time favorites because it touches on timeless truths.) It also was the First “Most Liked” Post of the year.

Retrospective December 2018

Second “Most Popular” Post

“My Life With Gracie…How To Explain Christmas To Chickens (Part 1)” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (For me, I would have thought Part 1 would have been in first place, but then again, Part 2 does have the real heart of the story while Part 1 just sets up the story.) It also was the First “Most Viewed” Post of the year.

Retrospective December 2018

Third “Most Popular” Post

“My Life With Gracie…Of Light And Life And Love” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (For me, this post is really what you might call “an any time post” not limited to the holiday season because it is about three things we may need at any time.)

Retrospective December 2018

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective which has been a chance to look back and see what our readers enjoy the most! This has really helped to prepare for new posts for the new year!

Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Amelia, Emily, and John