Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Leaves know more than I do

Post Note: About an hour after I wrote this, the little chicken died.

I had plans today. Plans to work on some writing, plans to help Martyn work on some remodeling. Plans for a long walk with Muddy and Huck.

Arriving at the hen house for morning chores, I found a listless chick, one of the Giacomo Gift Hens . The lite bulb for the young chick's roost area had burned out, and the colder weather must have caused the chick to go into hypothermia. At least I surmised this. But one never really knows what's going on with a chicken.

I rushed her to the house, put her in warm blankets and got her near the fire in a crate. I assumed she might be dead when I got back from the barn chores, but she had actually revived somewhat, and still had good strength in her feet and grip. Her eyes were open. But she was gasping. Researching, I decided it might be gape worms and I did some treatments as best I could. As I write this she is still hanging on, eyes closed, wrapped in a blanket. I placed her randomly near me on the counter, and for some reason her pose next to the brussel sprouts seemed very poetic. Perhaps it was wrong to document what might be her last day, but it felt beautiful.

I feel more and more like a leaf. I always looked to leaves as good examples of a good life. You start from a seed, and you grow. You do your best to be a leaf, even though you never asked to be a leaf. You see some sun, some rain, warm and cold weather, and as winter threatens, you feel yourself changing, crumbling, and you fall, and die. Death is just another day. I feel this more than ever.

This past two weeks has seen the old One Eyed Pug failing more, and it is unclear how long he will be with us in body. And Old Guinnias is failing to age. I've had 6 years of life and death on the farm, and while death is not welcomed, it must not be viewed as necessarily bad. It must viewed as a leaf. That is how I feel today.

But leaves have always been more graceful than I have. They don't worry about the fall. They just let go.