When writing this blog I’m usually feeling thankful or proud and generally lean towards painting a rosy picture of life up here on the hill. I’ve used phrases like “we’ve hit the escape button,” or “we are making a life instead of a living” and we really are thankful every day for being able to live a more grounded life … a life in which we feel more connected to people, to the earth and to our lives. But that isn’t to say that there aren’t some gray days literally and figuratively. Happily, today is one of those fall Finger Lakes days that is emblazoned with color and graced with a big blue sky.
But this day weighs heavy due to a sad event this past weekend. There was a loud party across the street on Saturday night with target practice and a DJ and lots of merriment, but something called out a wild thing and by morning all of our front yard chickens were dead. None were eaten, just killed by something big enough to barrel enough through the chicken wire with a bit of force. Experts around the area have various theories as to what happened. But this is the first time in three years that we’ve had any problems. As shepherds of our little space on the planet we feel the loss of 11 chickens in our care isn’t trivial.
As we live closer to life it means we also see a more vivid version of it. Things don’t come in shiny plastic-wrapped packages. The apples have some spots, the lettuce may have a snail on it, the eggs look a bit (or maybe a lot) less pristine than the ones on the grocery shelf and, like us, you may recognize these as symptoms of the benefits of such a harvest. But we also get to live closer to death and an unfair or untimely or out-of-scale death is hard to take. Thank goodness for the blue sky today.