She is roaming in the heat trying to find her breath. The temperature is somewhere in the nineties Fahrenheit, she struggles with the lack of water and only dappled shade. She is moving slowly, her mouth open to a pant and she is making a repetitive noise to calm herself.
Rosey is now nearly an “adult” chicken at just under three months and she no longer looks like the tiny hatchling I once knew just a few weeks ago. She is getting red rims around her green eyes, she has a small white comb and she is starting to get the waddles under her chin which are coming in red. She is a farm yard chicken now and I am met with a struggle.
I watch her bobbing her head forward with her beak slightly open making that comforting noise and am wanting her to act less like a chicken and more like my anthropomorphized baby girl. I hear myself say; “Rosey, what are you doing?”
There it is. The flaw in my love which wants Rosey to be something more along the lines of what I want. My ego is lurking and waiting for me to admit I’m still locked in the context of me. I blush. It’s shaming to still be there.
As a parent we go through this. We want to brag about our children and their accomplishments. It takes a while to see that’s about us and not our children. It takes years to know that what we want for our children is not the point nor are they a reflection of us. When I understood that’s what I was doing and still sometimes do, change had to come. The best gift would be support and freedom. Imprisoning anyone in my expectations would not be the quality love I’d want to give. I had to see it was about me to get out of my own way.
Rosey is entitled to that kind of love that appreciates her in all of her chicken-ness. Just as that thought chastised me for the other she came bobbing over and stood in my lap as if she knew the content of my thoughts and the faltering of my character. She tilted her head and stared in my face.
Her eyes set slightly to the side with the most impossible shade of green reflecting the earth’s colors looked in mine. Her beak still open and panting lunged forward on her long neck and she gave me a slight peck. Chickens do this to calm each other. How did she know I needed to calm down? It startled me and I jerked to the side. She got frightened and jumped off my lap clawing me on the way down. I let out a slight yelp.
Rosey and I had our first awkward interaction. We had somehow taken each other out of context. She was reacting to me as if I was a chicken and I was acting toward her as if she were human. That was our first mistake. She is chicken, I am Great Ape.
I lay in the grass watching her with her chicken family peck the ground. Rosey is not a baby anymore. She is not an adorable chick. Rosey is nearly a full sized hen and she looks like one. She pecks and scratches and eat bugs. She sleeps on a roost and will one day lay eggs. Rosey is nothing like me in so many ways, but she trusts me anyway and I believe she loves me. How else can I explain that when she is cold or afraid she wants to be cuddled or that when she does something great like fly or find a nice little piece of fruit she runs to me to share the news?
I love Rosey also. How else can I explain this blog?
So here we are in this mysterious world loving each other for no particular reason.
She is chicken and I am human and that’s just the way it ought to be. Nature requires variation and adaptation.
Being alike is over rated.
I fetch her some water and a glass for me. We share the sun and this little square of grass and dirt. We help each other when we can the best way we know how. We are planting the seeds of compassion and our crop is entirely organic. We farm understanding and grow love. We expect an abundant harvest.