Wednesday, May 21, 2014

chasing crow...

so my chicks have turned into prepubescent chickens or as the farmers calls them "pullets". they have a bit of sass & no longer liked being confined to a toddler swimming pool surrounded by a dog fence inside my garage.  seemed like the ritz of chick living to me, but i guess not as i would open the roll-up garage door and they would be pecking their feathery little selves around the garage.  last week i moved them out to the coop in hopes of allowing them to literally spread their wings.  the coop is within my garden and is surrounded by a white picket fence in the middle of our backyard {all vital info for you, the reader, to be privy to}.

i am by nature an anxious person & was sure a hawk would swoop down and whisk one of my girls away.  additionally, i really know nothing about farm life or chicken rearing, and while i have googled umpteen questions i still really am clueless about what i am doing.  it's kind of like when you bring that first baby home from the hospital & regardless of the number of maternity and infant books read, that first cry leaves you with a pit in your gut that you did not somehow properly prepared for this very moment.  at least that's how it was for me-if that mothering thing came oh so natural for you, i am envious.

so for the first few days, i would arrive home & hustle out to the garden to confirm the safety of my three girls.  they were often huddled together underneath the shelter of a tomato plant.  it took a few days for them to become adventurous & explore their new world.

friday afternoon i walked out to the mailbox to retrieve all the junk mail i receive and noticed donna, one of my chickens, on the grass near the mailbox!  i wish for a photo to explain how entirely impossible this feat could be for this chicken.  she would have had to fly over two 5 foot fences & traverse 96.3 feet of ground to get to the mailbox.  yes, chickens can be adventurous but the likeness of this happening is close to impossible.  but in that moment, after a long day of helping sweet brown eyes & 61 other fifth graders impersonate colonists coupled with the smoke & ash from our southern california wildfires, i lacked clear thinking and sound judgement…and panic arose as i tossed the penny saver & pizza coupons to the ground and began chasing donna so i could return her to my garden.

i was keenly aware of a murder of crows swooping down to peck me while others cried out in the branches of the tree above my sweet {and foolish} head.  but it was my mission to rescue this chicken i had raised {for all of two months}, so i continued to dash to and fro hoping to clutch her gently and remove her from harm's way.  in the dashing, i realized she was missing the comb that has begun to sprout on her head.  in the bustle, i noticed she had lost her tan chest feathers that are intermingled with the black ones.  in the madness, i was keenly aware this was not, in fact, my chicken i was chasing but a teenage crow.

and i giggled & prayed none of the neighbors had seen my misguided heroic actions & realized all those crows were just protecting one of their own.  i was repeating the story to my family over dinner and they too laughed at my antics, but then amber hinted at something so profound in the middle of the crow chase.

how often do each of us chase dreams, relationships, careers, possessions believing it is truly ours to own.  how often have i felt ownership was mine-either because i had earned it or was just entitled?  i was thankful for a moment of clarity-"hey that's not my chicken.  it's a crow!"-but i wonder how many moments i failed to pause and truly assess the authenticity of something before grasping at it.  how many other "crows" have i chased in life believing it was my calling to have, when in fact, it was never mine to own.

dear crow.
sorry to get you & your family all in an uproar.
it was a case of mistaken identity.
i apologize for getting you & me in a panic.
misguided chicken owner

dear God.
how ridiculous did i look chasing after that crow?
thanks for the lesson in the ordinary of life.
help me to pause & take note of what is genuine & life-giving.
it is so easy to be distracted by emotions & desires & entitlement.
chaser of crows


  1. That is hysterical and truly a wonderful lesson!

  2. Too cute!!
    You and your daughter have such a way of finding lessons out of all situations - this is a great one! I am sure far too often I'm chasing things that are not meant for me :-)
    xo Laura