How can I possibly thank you all for the wonderful comments yesterday!? I read them. Re-read them. Thought about them, and read them some more. You are all wonderful!
If you are still here today, reading this, after yesterdays hormonal roller coaster post, I thank you even more!
This morning when I went to the coop to let the girls out, Helen pulled me to the side.
As I was filling up the waterer, she said "Jayme, you've not been yourself lately, what's going on?"
Scarlett chimed in saying "You'd feel better if you'd do something with your hair".
Fifi offered me a cigarette.
That darn Fifi.
She'd better give up that nasty habit in the New Year.
"Ahh Helen, nothing, you wouldn't understand, it's human stuff", I said, trying to brush it off.
If there's anything I've learned about Helen, she's pretty tenacious when it comes to doling out advice, and I quickly realized she wasn't going to give up so easily.
"Human life isn't so different from life out here in the coop Jayme, it's all about survival and finding your place".
I looked down at that little bird and scooped her up. "Want some tea?"
You didn't think chickens could smile did you?
She opted for the green tea. I had a cup of Nutcracker Sweet.
"All right, spill it" she said, wasting no time getting to the heart of the matter.
"Well Helen, it's like this",
I started, going on and on, telling her how I was sick of consumerism, and 'stuff' and I just wanted to backpack out in the country, and live off the land and wash my clothes in a creek and stop all the noise in my head. I told her how I was sick of plastic and chemicals and waste and I wanted to live a simple, authentic life.
She sat silent for a few moments.
"See, I told you that you wouldn't understand Helen"
"Jayme, your all or nothing attitude is sabotaging you"
"You are too intense. You need to seriously relax. How long has it been since you've had any sugar?"
"Well, I ended up having a couple of Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve", I sheepishly admitted.
"How did that make you feel?" she queried.
"Horribly guilty" I said.
"Why?" she asked.
"Well, cause I said I was never eating sugar again. I failed. Again. Why do I always do what I don't want to do?"
"Jayme, do you realize you could have thought 'wow, this cookie is delicious' and been proud of the fact that you've drastically cut back on your sugar consumption and left it at that?"
"Do you realize that you could feel good about all the little choices that you make on a daily basis that promotes a simple, authentic life? Do you realize how much you do already? You are just setting yourself up to fail with your rigidity. If you aren't enjoying the journey, then, what's the point, my dear?"
I sat and just looked at that little chicken for a moment.
"Want a muffin?" I smiled.
"Are they sugar-free?" she cackled.
We spent the better part of the morning, talking and laughing and drinking tea.
I took her back out to the coop. I apologized for the cold and told her spring was right around the corner.
As I was shutting the coop door, she stuck her wing in to stop me,
"I just want to remind you again...."
God I love that chicken.