It's what I said when I looked out the window and saw the chickens in the rain. Yesterday was sunny and warm and they lingered in the sun as would beach combers in the middle of August. Then I saw what they were doing and I asked Dean, do worms come to the top when it rains? The answer was yes. So they get the rain but they get easy pickings at the worms. In the afternoons the chickens like some still time; time when they're 'in' verses being 'out' and it's in that still that that I've often sat with them in their run and with one or two of them in my lap. I love watching their eyes slowly close; from the bottom up; their eye lids close up and not down. I wonder if that is because the need to be on the alert for predators; is it hard to fall asleep when you eye lids have to go up instead of down. While watching the rain and the chickens and feeling surrounded (while inside my house, not there's) by limbs of the newly leafed out branches of the American Elm that wrap around the back corner of my house like arms...it was then while gazing up from my book, (which I'll mention in a moment because I have to tell you about this book) that I saw western tanager, beautiful little bird with a yellow body and a pink head and then there are the Eurasian collard doves, two of them...where is it they are so often in pairs?. When I was with the hens in their run listening to the rain pitting, quite harshly really, on the roof of their run I watched a hummingbird sticking it's tongue in the little blossoms on the small vine maple that is in their larger run; I've never noticed these blossoms before and I've never seen a hummingbird visiting the vine maple. I have to say that it's because of the chickens that I see so much more in my own backyard. Take the barn owl for instance that was sitting up in the large birch, who's branches reach over the large run, at dusk while I was watching the last chicken come in for the night. Just before I saw the owl I was thinking this is not a good idea for this chicken to be dallying along because this is just when owls are probably getting ready for their day and I look up in the tree and there it is and in walked the chicken over the threshold of the run and into her house. It's said that backyard chickens that free-range don't last long because of predators. I keep a watch out and did you know that a chicken has a warning call with two parts to it; the first part warns that a predator is coming by air and the part warns of a predator coming by land. And we think we know chickens...?
The book I'm re-reading and studying is "At The Root Of This Longing: Reconciling a spiritual hunger and a feminist thirst" by Carol Lee Flinders. The spiritual side says be silent, be last, loose the self; the feminist part of cries out...I've never had a voice what do you mean be silent and I'm always last, or think I should be so what do you mean that I'll evolve spiritually if i keep this up? Carol Lee Flinders is an amazing teacher and I identify with the feminist and spiritual dilemma. Though as I've discovered there is no dilemma when I realize that it's all about choice; choice is key here with a capital K. When I realize I have freedom of choice and that I'm not being forced into silence or solitude; when I know in my truest of hearts (I do possess hearts that are only half true)why I am doing what I am doing and that I have chosen my actions well then my life makes sense if not it's like I'm at an amusement park without a theme and there are mice and dogs and things, larger than life, skipping around having a great time while I wait in line to be scared when I'm already thinking things are not as they're supposed to be. Well enough of my rambling here. I've let the chickens out after their quiet time in their run and now they're spread around, fifteen feathered ones, choosing what direction they'll go in next!