Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nest and nester...

Lucy has a nose for chick-care
My husband, Wally's rough hands cup a chick.  The rainy season is a harsh environment for the little ones. He has brought the hatchling for me to keep warm and sheltered, to give her a chance of surviving this setback. We've done this countless times. Sometimes I put the little life in the front of my shirt in the space between my breasts and move about doing my chores as the little chick sleeps as if under a wing of different sorts. Sometimes I make a nest in the pocket of my apron with a torn piece of t-shirt to catch droppings - a chick diaper. 

The noise of the chicken yard is our soundscape. At times the chick I'm carrying responds to its sounds. Maybe she hears her mother's cluck or the cheep-cheep (pio-pio in Spanish) of her siblings. It's a good sign. Her low trilling is the sound of content like a baby's gurgle or the purring of a cat. She feels safe. 
I am a nest.

Caring for her is not just good for the chick, it's good for me too. I do things more slowly and finally sit to marvel for 20 minutes at the perfect markings on her wings and back, a collection of finest feathers that makes a unity of design in a rich array of browns accented with ink black calligraphy. If only I could decipher its message. Who says brown is drab? Brown becomes more than a color but an experience of velvet-soft darkness.  Brown becomes worthy of a long study into weightless, ephemeral, featherness. 

Are we any less a wonder? 

How much do we miss by hurrying?
Contemplative-worshiper-chick of the chicken species

My hands today are good for chick care and little else. Stung by hornets, my hands are like two inflated gloves on the ends of my arms. It's a reprieve from my chores, I can take ease without guilt. Like the chick, I let the full weight of my being rest in the shelter of this day, this place. It can be a gift to be small and helpless. I can still multi-task as nest and chick-care-giver, a contemplative-worshiper-chick of the human species.

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