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  • I don't know why I like chickens. I am not even sure I do like them in the way I usually mean the word. I just find them peaceful. They were my first meditation instructors.
    I was a young hippie living in the country and had wanted a flock of hens as part of my life. I travelled with Robert down to New Germany where there was a farm where you could get 12 little red hens and so we did. There was a delapidated chicken coop on the farm that we rented, on the end of Lacey Mines Road, or as it was called by all of us, Lazy Minds Rd. We fixed it up, put a new roll roof on it - I did that with my friend Laurel (we'd done her dome a few years before and this was a piece of cake compared to that).
    We knew somehow (pre BackYard Chicken and Google How to Do Any Damn Thing) that we should keep them in the coop for a few days before they would get that was their home. So we did.
    There was a fenced in pen but we were hippies man so we let them roam free (as we do now). After all, our place was the end of the road and nobody living close. Pretty soon they were giving us about ten eggs a day. I named them after the women in Another World, a soap opera on tv, and a few wandered off. That's what I actually thought - that they were drinking in some bar down in Key West or something. Now I know better. Chickens don't wander off - they get taken away by predators for dinner. My eldest says he sold the eggs on the road - did he? He says so. He was about eight then and he's forty-two now.
    In the evening when they came back to roost I would go into the hen house and sit while the light grew dim. The golden dust in the late evening light slanting through the ancient windows, and the sweet murmuring they made as they settled were my gong and chants. I learned to be still, to be present and to appreciate that moment.
    They were excellent teachers.
    I just came in from our little coop - it is smaller and I can only sit there with the door open. One hen, the mother one, is on the floor in a an old dolly box and I wanted to open one end so the two chicks could start to have a larger environment but still be close to Mama. One hen who thinks she is setting a brood persistantly sits in one of the nest boxes. The other two hens were dead curious about what I was up to and so were behind me making little noises. The chicks were coming out from under their mum, pecking at their feed, and then seeking shelter once again.
    I feel good. I always feel good after I meditate.

    photo taken by Ron, my guy, of me in coop wearing a wool wig.
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