A Day Late

I forgot to post yesterday. I even had an alarm set on my phone to remind me. It buzzed. I turned it off but didn’t connect the alarm to the fact that I was supposed to not be working on my play but on a post for my blog. It was an example of not being present to the moment, which I am trying to be. The moment is so precious. Yesterday, the moment was distracted. Because we had friends up from Providence, two of whom we haven’t seen since they were knee high to a grasshopper. Alton and Ford arrived, with their mother, Pam, in tow. First stop, of course, was the chicken coop.

Prior to their entering that area, we informed Alton and Ford that it was Schtude territory and to be very careful. In we all went, I carrying a broom to keep the blond dude away from the youths. I noted that they were all about the same size if you include Schtude’s feathers. But looks deceive. He might appear to be all feathery and absurd but don’t be fooled. He is dangerous. Especially when compared to the nice cock-a-doodle-dos at Friendly Farm. There’s not an aggressive roo alive on that farm. (Note to self: alive.) 

I know. I’ve been saying this about Schtude for awhile and no action. But it gets old, having to barricade myself in with hens so that Schtude can’t get to me. I hold my broomstick in one hand and go about the feeding and watering. I am careful not to turn my back to him—and he circles, judging, watching, waiting for the time he knows will come and it does. I briefly turn away to dip into the mealy worms and smack! His talons strike my leg. 

What he really wants is my head. 

The feeling, at times, is mutual. Just not always.

Sometimes, I miss the good old days of our original six chickens. Big Red, whom I have since learned was as much of a jerk to Carl as Schtude is to me, yet was sweet to me. And Panda, our motherly broody hen. Lola (wee) and Chipper (wise) I hardly knew, they died so young. And, of course, CooLots, our worrier, and Ping, our adventurer. Looking back, it was idyllic. An innocent time in a euphoric recall way as we transitioned from the Hay Chalet to the Chicken Palace, and onward to Chicken Paradise. Thirty-nine chickens have peopled Darwin’s View. We currently steward sixteen. 

That’s how I know that these days we are living now are the future’s good, old days. It’s called a lowering baseline. We adapt to the changes without even noticing.

This morning, I swam a lap in our lap pond, greeting our two resident frogs–Burp One and Burp Two–and the many tadpoles unnamed and winging about. Then out to see the girls who clucked about, oh so excited to greet the morning. Except Toey who is broody and irritable as she huffs and mumbles and protests the closed nesting boxes. Schtude circled me. He struck. I locked him into the coop with Toey, and—to their chagrin—Side Saddle Sadie, Collette and Wilma. 

I was free to finish the chores. It’s all so relaxed without Schtude. I get to hang out, chat, bond with Little Red, named in memory of Big Red, and Flopsie and Rosie, Copper, Adele, Daisy, Splotches and Squeaky. Suzie B., Billie . . . and I’m missing one. Who?

This is what happens. Counting the chickens and I reach fifteen and we have sixteen. To figure out who is gone, I go through the generations that are left: There were the six we adopted two years ago; the six we adopted last year and the five we saved this year. Mo (rehomed), Cady (weasel), and of course! The eldest and quietest one: Apricot. The last connection to the past generations of chickens, the fourth generation Cream Legbar. She’s sweet and utterly feral, thus happy to be forgotten and left alone.

Yes. Extreme temperatures, hot and cold, happen. Floods and fires, lightning. What will strike next, these good old days?

Let’s stick to the moment. This perfect day.

Breathe in the health, peace and goodness of this moment.

Breathe out the hopes and dreams for a safe, resilient and sustainable future for those two young men who came to visit yesterday.