Sometimes I get curious about what I was doing on this date – whatever date it is – in past years. So this morning, still jet-lagged and waking up very early (the latter of which I adore), I decided to stroll through pictures. And it turns out that in 2015, I was hanging out in a chicken coop.
There are only two places where I’ve ever done such a thing: a farm I love in California and a farm I could have loved, had I spent more time there, in Maine. The farm here in California isn’t that far away from where I now live, and I’m fortunate enough to journey there a few times a year. It’s always refreshing, grounding, helpful to my soul when it’s weary. It connects me to a part of myself that I sometimes neglect.
It’s a good farm. The animals roam every which way, through fields shared with other creatures, and are put up at night for safety. Even so, chicken chores have never been my strong point. There’s squawking and mess; unexpected flapping and sudden, drastic movement. It puts me on edge, even though I know the chickens will do me no harm, even though I know they’re more confused and overwhelmed than I am. Still, whether it’s cleaning out the coop, or feeding the chickens, or collecting their eggs, I have never felt at ease there.
Yet four years ago, there I was. It must have been a weekend; I would have been working if it wasn’t. And while I know that I didn’t love my time with the chickens themselves, no doubt some part of me was feeling whole. In the mess and the movement, the flapping and the squawks, I’m sure my heart was content.