|Boo and Fifi go in to swipe a treat at the same time|
|how many birds can you count?|
Lesson Seven: Life feels cozier when crammed in between a dozen of your closest friends.
Chicken Perspective: We took time selecting the chicken breeds in our flock. My husband astutely made sure that our selections were mainly based on egg production (that was why were were getting chickens, wasn't it?) and my influence was for their personality, but my daughter and I were still able to sneak a few fancy looking chicks in the mix. Now to sit outside with them is quite a sight to see. Deep red plumage, some speckled or laced, a few black bodied birds with feathers that glisten green, some fluffy cheeks and a pair of bouffant heads grace the flock, just to name a few. Truly a beautiful group! But who's my biggest sweetheart? Surely she must be the showstopper of the group! Alas, no. My mild mannered Buff Orp, Tinkerbell, is the lap dog of our coop. She doesn't have flashy markings, or a crazy topknot to make her stand out. It is her quiet, gentle and persistent friendship that makes her one of my favorites. (Just don't tell the others I play favorites)
What I Should Learn: Big displays for attention aren't what matter to me. I often remind myself of this when I hear others brag about how many friends they have, or how many followers on a social network, or some other self imposed mark of popularity. To me the things that matter most are in the kindness a person shows, their devotion to their friends and family, their moral fiber and their loyalty. You can draw attention to yourself pretty easy with obnoxious behavior and controversial comments, but shallow people often stand for shallow things.
|Georgette jumps her way to the uppermost levels|
Lesson Nine: Just because you can't fly doesn't mean you shouldn't soar.
Chicken Perspective: There are few chicken breeds that excel at flying. In fact, at best they are merely capable of flight at short distances. The hens I have are not these birds, yet a few of them fancy themselves ace pilots in training. The topmost perch of the coop and run aren't good enough for them, oh no! They must roost amongst the rafters only to descend (on their schedule, not mine) at a glide, then with all the grace and elegance of landing as if they were blindfolded. They keep on trying though, and I'm sure they'll get it down one of these days.
What I Should Learn: Sometimes we chalk up our dreams to be unreachable; a goal which we could never realistically achieve. As we continue our day to day lives, inside us somewhere is that spark of passion we have to make a move in the direction of what we want most. It could be dreams of fame and fortune, it could be to write a novel, maybe a non-profit group you wish to start or going back to school. Every day you talk yourself out of your dream is one less day you have to achieve it. Each time you tell yourself you are foolish to hope and could never do it, you make that more true. I've had an idea kicking around in my head for years that I've denied, but I just realized that I'm the only one stopping myself from trying. I will give myself permission to dream and to try to reach my goal. I may not get to fly the distance, but soaring would make trying all worth while.
Lesson Ten: We may get sidetracked by shiny things, but try to focus on what is truly important.
Chicken Perspective: A healthy curiosity for life, chickens have an abundance of. If it's shiny, makes a funny noise, creeps or crawls, looks like food, smells like food or is believed (in any respect) to be food, they are all over it. My daughter, like most girls her age, has some clothing pieces with what is commonly referred to as bling on them. You know: rhinestones, sequins, jewelry charm chains, etc. This is a chicken magnet. Other attention getters that cannot or rather should not, be consumed? Flip flops, exposed toes, jewelry, moles or freckles on skin, nail polish, plastic bags or containers that could potentially contain treats. (you are holding out with the treats, aren't you? GIVE ME THAT BAG!) I can literally toss down some goodies and they will waste their time pecking at a rhinestone gem on my daughters flip flop or a rivet on my jeans. Sigh. Open your eyes ladies.
What I Should Learn: Each year the "American Dream" seems to get a little bigger, a lot more expensive, more high definition (HD for the techies) and bring us a whole lot deeper in debt. No matter how modestly you try to live, there is always something that becomes your money pit. Are you a clothes horse? Maybe you like your ATV toys and mechanical what-not (*ahem-my-husband-ahem*). It could be a love of literature that does you in. (Guilty book junkie here) Instead of focusing on the next big thing coming out or our next "want", we should focus on our needs. In an instant gratification world, it's an easy fix to drop some cash to feel momentarily happy, but is it worth the expense you pay in the end? I, like many others, need to keep my priorities in strict check. Anyone know a good support group for fiction and non-fiction addicts?
|Mim growing in her feathers|
|Kevin has an unusual look|
Lesson Eleven: It's ok to be different.
Chicken Perspective: Most of our birds, as earlier mentioned, were selected for their egg laying abilities. Our coop proudly houses several heritage breeds. But you might do a double take when you see two mop-top polish out strutting side by side with the high production gals. Our birds of a different feather are Kevin, the white crested black polish, and Madame Mim, the silver laced polish. With reading up on the polish breed before their arrival, I found many reports of them being timid and low on the pecking order. Even some horror stories of other breeds attacking them because of their highly visible, flashy feathery hairdo. I was apprehensive to say the least. 5 months later, they fit just fine into the group and are welcomed without question.
What I Should Learn: People are either going to love you or they are going to hate you. Don't waste time trying to be someone you aren't just to fit in. Those who are truly worth having in your life will respect your individuality and while they may not always share your opinions, beliefs, and choices (etc), they will respect your right to have them. Let the judgmental people sit in their own private jury. Don't let them into your life. Besides, normal is overrated! The difference between extra ordinary and extraordinary is only a short space away! (Really, look!)
Lesson Twelve: Every once in awhile you've got to strut.
Chicken Perspective: I have a shameless bird in our group named Minnie. She is a Plymouth Barred Rock and she is about as attention seeking as a D-List celebrity. (As if this photo bomb isn't evidence enough!) Whatever the flock is doing, she's in the middle of. Whatever you are doing, she's right there. Whatever you think you might do, guess who? She's bold, she's daring and she's not afraid to get you to take notice. Maybe she's a bit of a diva, but it's working for her. And you know the most important thing to a diva, don't you? Working it!
What I Should Learn: I'm as guilty as many of you are in shrugging off compliments. I will pshaw even the simplest of things to remove the focus from myself. Every once in awhile though, I should take a cue from Minnie and revel in my accomplishments a bit more. Not in a haughty way, but in being proud and assured that my work has paid off. We've all got to take a little time to enjoy our success and bask in it while the moment is fresh. So lift your head up high, pat yourself on the back and heck, strike your best pose for a few photog's...even if they weren't pointing the camera at you!
So there they are; the dozen lessons I think my chickens could teach me. Maybe yours could teach you a few things too. We just need to slow down, open our eyes and hearts to the wisdom all around us. Wherever you draw energy and inspiration from, take notes. After realizing these lessons I could take away with me, I may be spending more time in the chicken coop with a pen and paper.
Linked at Fresh Eggs Daily's Fall Harvest Link Up Party