Sometimes I wonder how my chickens view the world and their place in it. The holiday season can feel somewhat surreal to me. All of the normal things can be there, like people and food and smiles and hugs. But sometimes these ordinary things can feel as if they are combined in a strange way you would not normally expect, like in a dream.
For some people, the holiday time can feel as if advertisements are trying to control their lives. There are so many unrealistic (and expensive) images of what is required to have Peace, Joy, and Love. Fortunately, my chickens don’t watch television. As far as I know, they don’t subscribe to any glossy print magazines. (Although I am at work when the mail is delivered, so I wonder…?)
Chickens don’t celebrate holidays, and so they don’t understand “holiday time.” But they do sense something is different. During the holiday season, quiet peace can become precious. People rush around to do busy things, and it can be really confusing. The nights often don’t seem very silent.
My chickens feel it because their routine is broken by my own holiday events, and they don’t understand why. Chickens love their routine and the familiar. So mine find their best friends and perch together for a while and wait for the season to be over and for me to be back again on their routine.
This weekend we will have our time together, and things will begin returning to normal, especially since I have nothing special planned for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Some people might call this weekend “quality time,” but I can’t.
You see, chickens not only lack understanding of “holiday time,” they also lack understanding of “quality time.” They only know when they feel loved, and that is most often with a friend by their side.
I’m unsure who created the term “quality time,” but it doesn’t work with chickens, and I’m doubtful it works with most people.
You can plan all you want, but the quality moment you are expecting will seldom happen at your appointed time or in your appointed way. Those moments just happen on their own by simply being and by being together.
Life makes those moments happen, not us.
Life seldom moves at the exciting speed of a thirty-second television advertisement or looks as euphorically perfect as a glossy magazine spread. Life seldom dances merrily along with the ideal choreography we imagine.
But life also seldom looks like a surreal nonsensical dream, at least not when it becomes about letting others know they are loved.
My Life With Gracie taught me the world can be a confusing place without a friend by your side.
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