Sunday, July 09, 2006

Home to roost

This shed in our garden was this morning home to sundry pieces of wood and metal, a television which must have been around for Charles and Diana's wedding, 13 rusting cans of paint and varnish, some broken glass, an interesting wire sculpture and half the local spider population. Today my flatmate emptied it, and by wednesday, all things going as they should, it will be home to four little chickens. A grand accomodation we think ...

During the day, the chickens will have the run / flap / walk of the garden, which is quite extensive in a rambling and be-careful-you-don't-step-over-the-edge kind of way. Come dusk they will be safely shut away in their chicken palace, away from the foxes and badgers, and tucked up in the nesting boxes which were clearly always the true purpose of the spaces in the work bench :)

And, on their first night, they will be tucked up in the freshly raked Hay that I gathered this afternoon.

Raking the hay reminded me of my grandmother's funeral. In the morning we laid her to rest, and in the afternoon we rode behind the tractor baling hay. It was ready and rain was forecast, and in farming life goes on no matter that life does not always go on.

After I'd got my hay together, I went out into our surrounding woodland in search of a six foot fallen branch to use to prop up the washing line. Climbing through hazel copse, wandering amongst the hundreds and thousands of trees that grow around my home, I was struck by how much I already miss this place. It is a funny situation ... the site has been bought by a developer, with a view to demolishing the existing beautiful building and clearing much of the wood and wildflowers, and building some flats. We have a guaranteed six months here, but it could be years - we will get 2 months notice when they get the planning consent. We have badgers and rare woodpeckers and so perhaps there is an angle to be worked there, but one day it will, inevitably, be destroyed. Apparently this is progress?

So, like in so many situations before, I am already grieving for the loss of something I know cannot last forever. I feel weighed down by the certainty of the ending, something which I struggle with in other areas of my life as well - especially relationships. My flat mate said on the day of Summer Equinox, "Oh well, that's it for this year then - all gets colder and darker from here ... ". And it's true. It's barely July and I am already mourning the summer, wishing for the hopeful heady future of May day, when summer stretches forever, just a promise.

I need to find a way to be here, in the moment, and enjoy it, without feeling the pulling away. At least I have plenty of good examples to study. All around me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The shed wis housing how many hens:0) They are going to throw at homes for all the chickens in the area are they and Friday night disco's for the roosters. The shed will definitely give them airs and graces you know.
The foxes in the area will no doubt be out and aout during the day too given the urban nature of the near vicinity so the hens wanderings may be a little more adventurous than anticipated. I wonder can you put bells on chickens, a small anklet with equally smal bell would at least mean you might find them in the undergrowth.
Are you going to put a flap over the nest boxes so the hens wil be really warm at night and bedside lamp of course so they can read if they can't sleep:0)
Impermenance is the gift of this life no matter how much we may fool ourselves otherwise the only permenance is promise given to us the day we are born, that we will die. Such freedom can make us create all sorts of scenarios titled 'staying around' but truth is we can be in the moment, he heart aware and mind questioning but never really stay around for always save in energy and microbes that one day someone else wil breath in.
The most perenant relationship we ever have is with ourselve of course but getting to know, love and live with that person gives us wishes for impermenance so we up and leave:0)

10 July, 2006 07:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoops that was me, you could tell by the grand typos and missing words couldn't you :0)

10 July, 2006 07:29  
Blogger g said...

impermanence. i was just saying to myself (although i wasn't really listening) wouldn't it be nice to set down roots and grow a garden again and have some chickens, and some bees, like i did once upon a time. but you. living in the teeth of the developer, are real brave to set those birds loose on the neighborhood.

12 July, 2006 03:55  
Blogger Stray said...

ta g, It's good to know that other people wrestle with this stuff too.

It's particularly acute for me at the moment because a situation that I though was very permanent and stable suddenly dissolved and so I find myself untrusting of even the things we can rely on. But, as D-W says, the only two promises kept to us all without falter are that the sun will rise tomorrow and one day we will die.

I'm increasingly feeling like it's all just a big library anyway - our health, home, loved ones, friendships, animals and even the weather - it's all just on loan for a short period, and the trick must surely be to read the story and enjoy it fully, unrestricted by the fact that it may be returned before you have completed it.

Ah - now that, the notion of the uncompleted story, leads me perfectly into this idea I have had ... I have been struggling with nerves and "how dare I?" about it ... but I feel spurred on by your comments to just get on with it.

By the way - the chickens have a secure future even if I don't ... we have friends who have a farm, and whether we obtain the chickens from them or from elsewhere, when we are no longer able to keep them, they will go there to live out the rest of the days. That or they'll be eaten by a fox in the meantime!

12 July, 2006 08:05  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

Jfm1LL The best blog you have!

02 November, 2007 11:42  

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