It is finally, truly, completely, beautifully Spring. I slept with the windows open which was lovely until the raccoon got on the deck at 4 am which caused the dogs to bark their brains out while running from window to window while the raccoon eyed them coolly through the glass. The raccoon is long gone and the dogs are fast asleep, of course, while I feel like it must be afternoon instead of 9:30 am.
Nevertheless, the sun is warm and I’ve oodles of blooming daffodils. The lilacs and roses are leafing out. The newest hydrangeas will come back too. Most fun of all, the chicks are living outdoors in the daytime now. Their permanent home isn’t finished so they spend daylight hours in the screened in porch. I've emptied it of everything but some pots of dead flowers and an old wooden chair they like to sit on to see out. Raccoons can rip screening so the girls get moved to the garage for overnight.
Their new digs bring out all kinds of entertaining behaviors. They've eaten all the leaves and twigs from the flower pots and are now eating the dirt. In the afternoons we take field tripes to the yard so they can peck for bugs and worms. I found them a great big fat grub worm but they refused it. Go figure. Sometimes two of them will be walking by each other and suddenly spread their wings and lunge at each other harshly. It's over in about two seconds and they move on. I wonder if new quarters require a new pecking order be established? They also play hilarious games in which one hen will suddenly run fast toward something only she can see. The others hurry to see too and find she was just kidding. They do this over and over and it cracks me up every time. If I sit quietly near them on the grass eventually they will settle down and all eleven of us just sit there looking around, listening to their distant relatives chirping in the trees. Some of them fall asleep but I don't dare lest a hawk is nearby. They are afraid of people.
Soon I'll put away the book and laptop to attend Global Women and do the rest of my day. I like thinking how an entire little universe plays out on my screened porch when I'm watching and when I'm not. They have chores and fun. They maintain relationships and forge community. They overcome changes and deal with threats. They sleep deeply, drink deeply, and eat hugely. They grow constantly. They bring me far more joy than trouble. That's not so terrible an existence, seems to me. I'm glad I get to share it. ~peace & prayers, pastor annette