Far left: Fiona. She’s the one with enough curiosity to kill a dozen cats and enough gumption to get herself an invite to prom with the quarterback and turn him down all with one wiggle of her tail feathers.
Center: Ginger. She’s the baby of the brood, content to be shoved around about by the other gals an a little whiney when she doesn’t get attention from us human folk.
Far Right: Mildred. She is quite the feisty one, and canbe a bit of a bully in order to prove herself the biggest and strongest.
These hens have taught me a whole lot about myself that I never really wanted to know in the first place, but am grateful I learned.
For one thing, I’m impatient. I want to them to lay me some eggs right now, not on their own timeline but on mine. Apparently Mother Nature doesn’t quite work that way, or at least that’s what Ginger’s squawking told me when I took a close-up look at her rear to check for potential soon-to-be-breakfast sightings.
Even worse than being impatient, I can also be unfair.I learned to love Fiona over the others within a few hours of meeting her. She just seemed like that bad-ass, strong, independent and curious kind of gal that I knew I couldbe friends with.
I know what you’re thinking: she’s just a chicken.
But she had so much personality! She will walk fearlessly up to a stranger if they have something resembling food in their hands, and she’s always the first one scratching at the door to get out when I’m letting them out of the coop to scratch around the yard for a while.
But after a few days of throwing the best scraps to the chicken who reminded me the most of myself *ahem*, I realized that it wasn’t the otherhen’s fault that they’re shy or grouchy. They each deserve a fair shake. So I’m learning to be kind in a more equal manner.
I’ve also realized how much I like to slow down if my brain is occupied.
My husband will tell you in a heartbeat that the one thing I might just be the worst at in the whole universe is sitting still and being unproductive. (Just writing those words gives me goosebumps like hearing nails on a chalkboard.)
It’s true, I will find a thousand things to do before I will “sit around.” But with the girls, I find myself somewhat entranced when I sit down on the bench in their coop, and just watch them mill around and squawk and peck and scratch at the ground.
Before I realize that I’ve even sat down, an hour has passed and all I remember is seeing them walk around in a big circle in their coop. I think that kind of sitting still and observing nature is entirely healthy for me. And somehow, because I am slowing down to observe something that is still active, it tricks my brain into thinking that I’m not being totally unproductive. (Good trick brain, you really got me on that one!)
These are some of the very important life lessons I’m learning from my *extremely intelligent* hens these days.
What are you learning about yourself from nature?