Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back to Nature

It’s been a while since I’ve been here – both figuratively and literally. This year has been a bit of a slog... nothing catastrophic but a feeling of teetering on the edge of catastrophe a few too many times.

I’ve learnt a little more about myself throughout these months. For one, the joy of gardening and watching plants grow and thrive. Something I never thought I would find relaxing or restorative. Watering the garden, tending to the plants started to feel almost meditative – a mental break and a moment to be fully present.

It was during one such morning I heard them. Quietly at first, so quiet I wasn’t sure if I’d heard anything at all. But there it was again. An unmistakeable ‘cluck cluck’ followed by a cooing sound. Chickens! There were chickens over the fence.

It wasn’t long before the whole family was asking for our own chickens. In theory I loved the idea – that irresistible cluck, the fresh eggs, a pet that wouldn’t need walking – but in reality I fought against it. Our postage stamp garden was too small. I didn’t want the roses dug up or the grass seed just sprouting to be uprooted. I didn’t want an ugly chicken wire fence making our small outdoor space even smaller.

‘We will have chooks one day,’ I kept saying, ‘when we have a bigger house and garden.’

And then the children’s birthdays all came, one month after another. And with it the realisation that they are growing up. Lily just turned nine and as Stuart so helpfully reminded me, in another nine years she will be 18. Hang on, where did the first nine years go? When did our third baby, the one who still felt a bit of a novelty, turn four? This year I have spent time visiting friends with three kids under five and found myself realising how long ago those days felt for me. In fact I can hardly remember the house full of toddlers and tantrums. Life has moved on and I haven’t noticed.

So, on the two mornings a week all the children were out of the house I found myself looking forward to my cup of tea on the deck listening to the clucks from behind the fence. Maybe we could fit chooks here, I started thinking. After all, this garden would have had a cow in it 130 years ago.

How long would it be before the kids weren’t interested in pets, chickens, home, us anyway? We can’t keep waiting for ‘one day’. Time doesn’t allow it – it’s already here. And now so are our three girls: Chippy, Clucky and Diggy. One red, one brown with white spots and one black with red spots.

I have a feeling this blog may now become a space to write about them. Interestingly, it’s only since they arrived last weekend that I have felt like writing again.

Not that they do much, but they do seem to do something to all of us. While watching them scratching around on their first morning, Stuart said over his cup of tea, ‘It’s like watching the waves.’

Yes, it really is.


Unknown said...

So glad you are back writing. Lily nine? No, I don't believe it. And chooks. You have to explain their names.

Unknown said...

Sorry,comment wasn't supposed to be anonymous. It was me, Jackie from Rosebank

Anonymous said...

Thank God you are back - I discovered gardening about the same time as you & what a lovely garden you have made too! The chooks are great - just hope Oscar thinks so too!

Keep posting Germaine - Mumx

Silvia Noble said...

I tend to read blogs not write or comment but I thought you would like the following on chickens.
I have 13 now and also find them very therapeutic to watch.

All I need to know in Life I learned from my Hens
by Michaele Oleson

Wake up early,stay busy,
rest when you need to,
But always stay alert.
Visit your favorite places
each day.
Scratch out a living.

Routine is good.
Plump is good.
Don't ponder your purpose in life
your brain is too small.

Accept the pecking order and
know your enemies.
Weed your garden.

Protect your children fiercely
sit on them if you need to.
Take them for walks,
Show them the little things and
talk constantly.

Make a nice nest.
Share it with friends.
Brag on your accomplishments.

Don't count your chicks
before they hatch.
Protect your nest egg.
Test your wings once in a while.

Squawk when necessary.
As you age, demand respect.
Leave a little something for
those who care about you.
Chase butterflys.

Thanks for posting

Germaine Leece said...

Thanks Jackie and Mum - I'll explain the names in another post... and Silvia, I LOVE those life lessons from chickens. I will have to write a post about it! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share it with me.

Angela said...

glad you're back baby.
missed yor writing.

Anne At Home said...

Welcome back! I had to comment - we got our chooks 6 months ago (just 2) and we love them. My daughters dote on them and they are so fun to have around - they are like dogs, they will follow you around and come when you call. Hilarious. And enjoy the finest egggs you have ever eaten.

Germaine Leece said...

It's good to be back, Angela. And Anne, we can't wait for the eggs - the chooks are 17 weeks now so I think it will be just under two months until they start laying. They really do have a personality, don't they! Do you have yours in a run or free range?!


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