About a week ago I walked through a new door to a new chapter in my life – raising chickens. So far five days in all seems to be doing well. I had four Rhode Island Red pullets which are 18 weeks old. I am told they could be laying eggs sometime in the next couple of weeks.
The first few days in their new hen house, they have spent getting to know the place. The weather has been cold for May as we have had snow and two freeze warnings in the last week and it’s been windy, blowing the dogs off the chain for days making the temperatures feel like it was mid-February. Every morning around 5am I head out to the hen house to check on the ladies and open their door to the outside run which is enclosed with chicken wire and hardware cloth.
On Tuesday, I was sitting on the blue painter’s bucket I had flipped over to use as my perch so that I could spend some time getting to know my chickens. I sat in the corner watching and photographing them as they pecked around at the food and jumped on the roost. Then there was a moment when they were all down by the food near the door to their run when two of them poked their heads out and walked down the plank to the grass. The third one quickly followed suit and then the fourth. The fourth one who is the only one to have a nickname so far of Khaleesi/White Pants. She gained the nickname Khaleesi after having been pushed on the swing and held on for dear life as my friend’s seven year old rocked the swing wildly back and forth. They had been the ones to get the pullets and were dropping off the four we wanted and they were keeping another 8.
I’ve never been around chickens but I figure like any animal they need some time to acclimate to their new environment. On the other side of the door to the hen house are our dogs. They stare through the glass door to the hen house which depending on the time of day and lighting, reflects back their own images. They can smell them though and unbelievably one curious girl came out to check the dogs out.
The morning that they all four walked out the door of the hen house and into their backyard enclosed run, I was so happy. New doors were opening up for all of us and we just have to trust our instincts about when it is the right time for to walk through those doors.
When I saw the prompt for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt “Harmony”, the first thing that came to mind was the Coke commercial from 1971. I can’t help it I was a child of the 70’s. Then I thought about how much time I have spent throughout my life striving for harmony in one way or another.
The word harmony in Dictionary.com is defined as
agreement; accord; harmonious relations. 2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
I made an agreement with the family 8 weeks ago when quarantine started in order to promote harmony in the house by writing a Dish Duty Calendar on our white board that makes it clear who has dish duty each day. We started it in March and Mark just updated it all the way to July which sort of freaked my daughter out a bit. Myself as well since it just sort of gives a visual of one way our life has changed. It has certainly has worked to promote harmony though which can be tough sometimes especially in such stressful times as these.
Generally, in order to achieve harmony the action of an agreement has to have taken place. In order for an agreement to take place, people have to be willing to negotiate which can happen when people communicate and listen to one another. Listen to one another. There hasn’t been enough listening to one another. Most people are thinking of what they are going to say next instead of listening to one another. A huge problem that we face in our society and government, but that’s just my opinion.
The third definition of harmony defines the word in terms of music. I love music, Mark is right this moment out in the other room strumming his guitar and singing right now filling the house with beautiful music. It does a lot to set a harmonious tone to the house. Maybe the world should be listening to more music.
Harmony in rel. to Music.
any simultaneous combination of tones.
the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
Some of my favorite bands are known for their harmonies like the Beatles, the Byrds, the Beach Boys, CSN, the Mamas and Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Queen…I can keep going so, instead here once again a playlist!
I’ve been part of team in many different capacities. Whether it was as a member of a sports team or as a member of a team working on a group project in school or work, I learned some of the most valuable life lessons working as a team.
In sports, I was on a team as a player and as a coach, each very different experiences which I learned valuable lessons. The most incredible part for me was watching young athletes learn and develop their skills and watch the confidence build inside them. I coached girls’ lacrosse for six years when my daughter was in elementary school and they were some of the most rewarding days of my life. I loved working with those kids and watching them grow not only in the sport but as individuals too. I think that exposing children to being on some sort of team is important. It teaches them how to work together which is a valuable life lesson. It doesn’t have to be a sports team either since there are many opportunities in school where you have to work on a group project for academic classes.
Being on a team teaches people crucial skills about cooperating, communicating, and connecting with other people. It doesn’t matter whether its a two-person team or a team with 22 people or more, members of the team have to be able to listen to one another, be willing to be open to new ideas or ways to accomplish the team’s common goal. There’s a beauty in watching people work together, whether it’s on the athletic fields or the workplace.
This stands in stark contrast to the teams of politicians which is our government. That’s not pretty to watch at all. Our government should be run more like a team, all working towards one common goal. Instead they act more like they are on opposite teams rather than on the same team, failing to listen to each other, or the American people. Perhaps if they were able to cooperate better with one another, communicate better with each other and check their egos at the door (a good place to start would be to stop calling themselves leaders when they are actually our representatives); they’d be able to connect better with each other and get things done.
Currently, sports teams across the world on every level are on the sidelines quietly waiting as the world’s attention is turned towards the teams of medical professionals fighting the virus which has paralyzed our world. These are the teams that on a daily basis work together to save lives. They did before the outbreak and they will continue to afterwards.
It’s too bad it took a pandemic for the world to pay attention to these all too important teams. These are the teams that are performing acts of heroism every single day to no particular fanfare other than from those families they may have touched individually. If I was still living in New York City or Boston, I would be one the people who every night at 7pm – raise up their windows and applaud and cheer for the heroic teams of today, the teams of medical professionals who are the front lines of this battle. These are the teams that I admire the most in today’s world. These are the teams that we should all be so thankful for their tenacity in working towards accomplishing their one common goal – to save lives. To save our lives and the ones we love.
The streets of every major city in the evenings are usually bustling with life. People filling the sidewalks on their way home, stopping for drinks with a friend or colleague, grabbing groceries on the way home to cook that night. Buses and taxis used to be filled with passengers slowly making their way through the trafficked arteries of every city. You could hear the heartbeat of the every city – loud and clear.
But now there is an invisible threat that has set upon everyone of us around the world. A virus that has separated and isolated us from one another. The rural areas are quieter than they once were. Towns and villages equally reticent now. But the most noticeable are the silent streets of cities like Athens, Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Never before and hopefully never again we will witness these eerie scenes of emptiness devoid of life.
I hope that we can be together on our upcoming anniversary. It will be 9 years. I’m sorry I couldn’t say yes to him five years ago when he asked. I told him I’d love him forever, just never ask me to get married. But he did. I said yes because I truly do want to marry him but– he knows I can’t.
It’s because I never wanted to get divorced again. I didn’t want it the first time – even though I asked for it. I knew by then it was over and the only thing to do. We had been friends then, my ex and I, not wanting the bitter divorces we saw around us. We had two kids to raise, albeit now from separate homes. It didn’t matter in the long run though as the rancor rose up between us anyway.
Life is difficult to navigate on one’s own. It can be scary, so very scary. I miss his laughter, the songs he fills the house with and the aromas that waffed from the kitchen when he cooks. It’s only been 5 days but it will be at least another two weeks before we can be reunited. The pandemic – the virus making its way through society. We got seperated – everyday family challenges tearing us apart. Figuratively and literally. We were supposed to be together – safe on our mountain like we have been living for the last four years. We weren’t supposed to be apart right now.
When we said goodbye, I knew there could be a chance that was the last time I would feel his touch, smell his scent. I pray not. I pray everyday that he remains healthy. This invisible killer amongst us and he is so far away right now. Out in the Petri dish. I’ll make it through by myself but I hope he is able to come back to me, to come back to our home. Our story isn’t over.
There is something in all of us which drives us. Driving us forward each day of our lives.
We aren’t always happy, nor are we sad. We just keep going forward. Something drives us forward. Some may be able to pinpoint that little something and be able to put it in to words. Others just feel it.
Curiosity drives us forward, propels us up and down paths we never knew existed. Scientists are driven forward to find the answers. They are curious beings constantly driven to discover and understand more. Thank God for the scientists. I am not a scientist.
Engineers work towards building the instruments and tools needed to further the science. They got us to the moon and back and beyond now. They’ve done what we never thought possible – yet. Something inside someone drove their curiosity forward. Thank God for the engineers. I am not an engineer.
There was a little something inside Jonas Salk which propelled him forward with his research to find a cure for polio. Thank God for people like Jonas Salk. I am not Jonas Salk.
There is a little something inside the people of Italy – besides the horrid coronavirus. A little something which will propel them forward, over the bell curve. A little something which can be seen in snippets on the internet of a country. People standing on balconies and hanging out windows singing, playing music, coming together despite having to be all be in isolation. Resilience.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
There is little something inside all of us and hopefully that little something will help us all get through these wild, weird and difficult times. Whether dealing with a daily family crisis, global pandemic or both, there is a little something inside each of us, we just have to dig deep. Perhaps, some may have to dig a little deeper than others to find that little something, but it’s there. If we just keep digging, we’ll find it.
During our lifetime, we are all on some sort of quest or another. A search for something. From the time we are born our very first quest begins, the quest for knowledge. What’s this? What’s that? What does this taste like? What does this mean? What does that mean?
The word ‘quest’ originates, according to Dictionary.com, back 1275-1325 Middle English. It was a derivation from the Old French word ‘quester’ which emerged from the Latin ‘quaerere’, meaning ‘to seek’. We are constantly seeking something.
There have been quests undertaken by mankind throughout our short history. From the knights and their quest for the Holy Grail to the men and women of NASA who successfully achieved their quest to explore our moon. Their successors continuing to explore further into our expanding universe in that ultimate and never ending quest for knowledge that we all have to know what’s out there and are we alone.
We are curious beings. We want to know more about everything. Our thirst for knowledge unquenched is one of our most powerful quests constantly driving us.
Life can be difficult. We are all on a roller coaster which we don’t control the steep highs and lows and velocity of speed at which things are thrown at us. We just have to hold on. Some people like to have their eyes open – others shut tight. I keep mine open – WIDE OPEN. Trying to see what’s coming ahead so I can prepare myself somehow. The quest for control as powerful the one for knowledge. The two go hand in hand, knowledge is power and power helps give you control.
A few years ago we moved from living in Connecticut full time to living in New Hampshire. A huge change in our daily lives, it was the perfectly timed step back we needed in our lives. To some it seemed sudden, but I had started a new quest quietly online two and half years before we made the actual move. Almost daily would take out my iPad and scour Realtor.com searching for our next step home. Vermont? Maine? New Hampshire? I researched and read about this town and that town, loving every minute of the journey to what ultimately would be my dream. I just had no idea at the time what that actually looked like or where that would be.
Another quest I have been on that any others are also on, is one that will give me not only knowledge but some control as well. My quest is that of being able to achieve a calmness within myself. We live in a chaotic world and there is so much that we can not control that it can get overwhelming at times. Whether it’s your kids having a problem that you are trying to help them overcome or suddenly facing a global pandemic which threatens the lives of every individual on the planet. Life can be very scary at times. Thus my quest to learn the ability to achieve a state of calmness in the face of a storm. This is an ongoing quest which I feel will probably be a lifelong one as well. I have picked up certain tools in my arsenal which have helped my along my journey and I will continue to keep my eyes wide open for more to help me further me in my quest to help me reach my ultimate goal – inner peace.