I lost a chicken. Two days on the homestead and I lost a chicken. Okay, well, technically she ran away on her own and I suppose she didn’t actually “run away” since she dutifully returned home after a few hours. We let them roam the yard while we’re home, stepping outside occasionally to make sure they are still sticking around (and they usually are) but a few days ago Luna, the white chicken, decided she needed to stretch her legs a bit and was gone when I came back to check on the two. We looked around the yard, in all of their favorite spots, peeking in the barn and under the porch, scanning the trees in case she popped up into one to roost. There was no sign of her. I even hopped in the car and drove up and down our street assuming she’d stepped over into one of the neighbor’s yards to admire their flower beds or sneak a snack from their gardens. Nothing. Not a feather or a cluck or a flash of her red crown.
I’ll admit, I was pretty heartbroken. Having chickens has been a dream of mine for years and I knew our brown chicken, Bellatrix, would be pretty sad without her friend. I assumed the worst- that Luna had been dragged off by a dog or fox. Every 30 minutes or so for the rest of the afternoon I got up and checked the yard just in case she reappeared. Finally, she did! With a spring in her step and a tired mischievous look in her eyes, she suddenly came trotting down the road, up and over the bank from the neighbor’s yard and paused in our driveway before making her way out back towards the pen where Bella was clucking away.
We’ve been moved in for almost a week now and it’s been flying by. I can’t seem to catch up on all the unpacking, cleaning, and house set up I’d like to accomplish during Finley’s nap times (while maintaining a photo editing schedule every day too). But just today I noticed that corners are being cleaned, boxes are being cleared away and things are starting to settle. They have been few and far between but in the small moments of quiet time and rest that I’ve had at the house this week I have had a wonderful sense of peace. Whether I am sitting on the back deck husking corn, sipping coffee in the sun room or reading quietly in bed, this house is so comforting to me. I’m a firm believer that your surroundings do affect your mood and ability to function- I can’t feel at peace or find rest when my house is in chaos so that’s why we are putting so much effort into this space we’ve been blessed with, to make it a home worth cozying up in, a place for friends and family to find good times and a space of beauty and refuge for ourselves.
There is some of the same fitness in a man’s building his own house that there is in a bird’s building its own nest. Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged?
-henry david thoreau