Chicken Diaries: I Believe I can Fly

Rosey is exhausted.  Early this morning she, Happy, Henny and the four new members of the band, Rosemary, Flower, Dandelion and Star Moon all had to leave their enclosure and hang out in the living room.  It was time to clean and the crew is uncomfortable with having their house swept out and scrubbed while they’re in it so we took them on a living room walk about.

There are many things to consider when you’re a small chicken in a big world such as what is under the coffee table and is there a possibility of bug hunting under the couch?  It looks like the kind of place a bug would hang out but no luck.  After checking, the chickens were disappointed to find the living room lacked the excitement they hoped for.  The hunting was non existent and the threads on the rug were nothing close to tasty.  They wound up hunkering down by the feeder and water tower chatting.  I don’t speak chicken but my guess is they might have been complaining a bit.

Then it happened.  Rosey decided she wanted to see what was going on in her room so she began walking out of the living room down the hall when one of the other chickens crept up behind her and startled her.  Without thinking about it she ran, opened her wings and…wait for it…she flew!  Rosey was aloft roughly four feet in the air and flew for maybe a foot or two.  When she dropped back to the floor it was a picture perfect landing.

She stood for a second shocked.  She yelled and screamed and dashed around the room at high speed in a victory lap.  Her excitement kinetic as she pushed through the throng of watching chicken mates and made it back to me.  She climbed up on my lap and looked me directly in the eye.  I bent my head down and she looked as if she was going to give me a tap of her beak, which is reserved as a calming and loving gesture between chickens, but she stopped short.  Maybe it was just all too much.

I pet her chest and scratched her.  She could barely hold still for it.  After all the longing, the practicing and the hoping one day to fly like her Bantam siblings, she did it when she least expected it.  

Then we figured it out.  Rosey just needs a runway long enough to get her speed up.  That’s why she couldn’t make it work in her enclosure.  She knew she could do it, that something was missing but I think she began to doubt herself when it didn’t happen after several attempts.  But now we know, she just needed a different set up.

For me, writing is flying.  I’ve tried several attempts but somehow I wind up crashing to the ground and giving up.  Maybe I just needed a different set up–a longer runway and fewer restrictions to put it together.  Maybe I just needed Rosey and all our beautiful muse chickens to bring me the proper inspiration and you to read about them here on this little page which is as expansive as the sky for me. 

My guess is that however you fly, you can do it with the right runway too.  Maybe it’s believing but more than that I think it’s letting go and letting yourself fly.  When Rosey didn’t calculate but just let her body go, she did what she had doubted possible.  She and I had sat chatting about her disappointment just days before.  I suggested flying was not everything.  While it’s not everything Rosey knew in her heart she had the gift and when she just let go and let it out, there it was.

So as we celebrate the visit to Oregon of His Holiness the Dali Lama, who teaches with great humor and patience that all things are temporal–our hurts, fears and even victories–we hold this freedom that Rosey and I can sometimes fly and that in that exact moment while we are soaring, we are in that truth.  When we are not flying but smiling and breathing (the real work of life) we are still present in freedom.  All Rosey does brings her closer to the reality of who she is and nothing is more true than that.

Today Rosey is a flying chicken and I am just happy I got to see it.





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