Wednesday, August 17, 2011


One of the new hens, the one, in fact, whom I saw Elvis doing some serious feather-ruffling with the other day, has laid me an egg.
It's brown, and compared to Miss Mabel's egg, quite small. I remember that- how when they first started laying, my older hens' eggs were tiny.

Oh, bless her little heart, this hen.

I have said it before, and I will say it again- chickens are the best pets I've ever had. I can't even imagine life without them now. I just feel so damn lucky that I get to have them. To be able to live out here in this relatively rural area where we can keep them. To have them greet me when I go outside. To watch them scratching through the flower beds, napping in the sand. To see the way Elvis watches over them and calls them to come when he finds something good to eat. To watch the two different flocks become one. To hear their lovely voices chatting away as they go about their daily rounds, almost as soothing as water in a creek, running over rocks.

Yesterday Owen and I took crackers out to feed them and Elvis walked right up to Owen who stuck his hand out and said, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" and kept repeating it as if expecting Elvis to say something back. Maybe like, "How ya' doin', dude? Got a cracker for me?"
Honestly, I wouldn't be that surprised if Elvis did. It just makes me laugh to see the boy and the rooster, almost at eye-level, observing each other. Roosters and boys are both curious creatures and I do prize curiosity as a virtue.

It is a beautiful day here in Lloyd and I can look up and see a cardinal fluttering in the distance like a piece of red cloth which has somehow caught flight. The heat is back but it is less humid, and therefore more tolerable. The air is clear and sunlight catches on the broad green backs of leaves in changing silver pools and although we need rain, most of what grows in this yard is heat-and-drought tolerant and may look a bit wilty, but remains vigorous.
The ashe magnolia has also given me a gift which I only found today.

That is its cone with beautiful hard, glossy, red berries in it. I expect the hurricane lilies to come popping up any day now and the firespike will begin to bloom soon. These are also red. Spring is more about the pastels- the pinks and lavenders, the creams and the yellows. Late summer brings the crimson, almost as if the heat of summer has erupted finally into flame.

A good day. A day in which I did truly try to constrain my thoughts to positive ones about myself. I am not ready to take the pledge yet, but I am THINKING about it. A day where a friend came by and we had a perfectly entertaining chat, talking about everything from geothermal energy to Tate's Hell to road maintenance. A day in which I cleaned a little bit, thought about my upcoming trip to the beach, and cooked beans which are slowly, by degrees, being turned into soup. A day in which I found the first-laid egg of a hen and the first cone of a magnolia tree I planted five years ago. A day in which I took a sane walk which served not to punish or make me suffer, which let's face it- is how I usually view my walk- but as a way to exercise, to be out in the woods and in the fields and to actually enjoy that.

The most simple of days doing the most simple things and that is the sort of day which bring me the most pleasure. Hell, it's too hot to eat soup but making soup is one of the joys of my life and so I have done it anyway. Although I do not by any means enjoy cleaning, if I set my goal at one or two rooms instead of trying to do the entire house, I find that it is a matter of an hour and so what? I can concentrate on this house which is such a fine house and which I have been given the very real honor of living in for however long I live here and I can find actual satisfaction in tending it.

No. I did not get to my office. But tomorrow I think I will. And that will be another sort of pleasure and I am far more apt to do it, to accept that pleasure, if I don't spend the first part of the day telling myself that there is no point in me trying to write, I will never get a book published, etc., etc., but just to do it for the joy. If it brings us joy, it must be something we should do.
That's what I think.

And so, that has been my day here in Lloyd. A day of very, very simple tasks done with no resentment and no hidden agendas, just a sense of purpose and contentment.

I would not ask for more than that. And why in the world would I?


  1. Such a gift our hens give us Mary! Sometimes I think I need to thank them more than I do. Every time I crack an egg for a dish I marvel at the deep orange yolk and the thick white of the egg. Beautiful.

    Our two new ones...Ethel and Lucy...are growing so quickly. We put them out in the yard in the puppy pen so they can walk in the grass and flutter their growing wings.

    I hope I can muster my mood up. I still feel preoccupied and not really "me". Dang a lot of dumping has been going on and I long for it to pass...

    You...I like your positive thoughts..hope they spread my way!!!

  2. I can't wait to get my chickens! I am taking a course in September that will teach the basics. Who hooo!

  3. Ellen- I know! Every day when I let my chickens out of the coop I say, "Hello, Lovely chickens!" I appreciate them SO much. They have no idea. They are just living their chicken lives.
    And honey, we're all doing the best we can with what we've got.

    Birdie- Don't worry too much. It's all in your DNA.

  4. It sounds like a balanced and good day to me. Mine was not so well done, but I hopefully get to do another day tomorrow. And am starting this one over right now.

  5. This post makes me want to twirl in my skirt.

  6. I love the thought of chickens napping in the sand. What a relaxing read. :) Thank you.

  7. Syd- As long as we are alive, we have tomorrow. Or even- the next moment.

    x-ray Iris- Do it! Twirl!

    Nichol- It has been a relaxing day. I am so glad for it, too.

  8. You sound so content today. That makes my heart happy.

  9. Ahhhhhh--I love this post. It makes me feel happy and peaceful.

  10. And I hope the writing brings you joy tomorrow.

  11. I love these words:

    "A day of very, very simple tasks done with no resentment and no hidden agendas, just a sense of purpose and contentment.

    I would not ask for more than that. And why in the world would I?"

    It sums up how I'm trying to live my whole life. Beautiful.

  12. I'm just glad I'm not a girl chicken, being humped on all damn day and then giving birth right and left. It sounds like THE SUCK to me.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.