This past month has felt calm and intentional. You can feel it on the farm, as well. The plants are all flourishing, but in a constant, slow and steady pace. It’s as if the Earth, herself, is at rest here. Gathering her strength, and the air in her lungs to cycle around the sun once more.
I feel much the same myself, and it seems to be a resounding energy.
A lot of the chickens have finished their molting periods and have beautiful new feathers. Their coats are so shiny and fresh, the fluff on the legs looks more like fur at such a fresh stage.
It really has been calm, and now that the Holidays are over it also feels very quiet.
As if everything is settling into it’s new skin, trying to get comfortable before beginning new growth.
The mornings are still crisp, and our breaths are still vivid.
I, too, am molting. And I can feel so many new feathers coming in.
I can tell when a hen has laid an egg now, from the sound of their squawks.
It’s almost as if they’re filled with utter excitement, exclaiming, “I did it! I did I guys, I made something really amazing!”
Sometimes I feel silly, in the way in which I personify everything;
but I swear these gorgeous little creatures have the most unique personalities.
So much like our own, even within all of their differences.
Cheers to enjoying a slow awakening,
cheers to a new rotation.
Here are some of my favorite moments of the week.
I have said it before, and I will say it time and time again; What a sacred space Sarvodaya has been for me.
Last week on the farm was a short week, due to the holidays and most of us traveling to see friends and family. My travels were definitely a needed change from the routine I have been maintaining throughout this past half year, but God am I glad to be back. Sometimes I forget that the world I place myself in, (this world of being environmentally conscious, and all that comes with it), is a drastically different than the rest of that which I have known throughout my life. It is a relief to my soul to return to a space filled with people who aspire to aid in healing the trauma we have created for our dear Earth. People who don’t find it strange to actually care about creatures (animal, and plant life alike) outside of the limited view of humanity that they are surrounded by. Who care about our place within the natural world, instead of being so indulged in consumerism and the wasteful accumulation of objects that were built with intentional obsoletion hardwired into their system. Not that I don’t appreciate the incredible technology that is available to us, but in the words of my dad, “I bought them because I could” seems to be the way general society interacts with what they invest in. It was quite astonishing, really, to see all of the soon to be junk that was given and received. And, again, I am just really happy to be back. Even with as much as I drastically enjoyed the time spent with loved ones.
Last week was a calm one at the farm. The days were crisp and frosty.
I have been quite enjoying my interaction with the chickens, and am happy that I wasn’t around to witness the killing of two of them on Friday. Honestly, I probably would have cried. Not that I don’t understand death, but I feel I will always have difficulty understanding killing outside the necessity for survival. Although, I am a firm believer of anyone who consumes animal products having the experience of killing that which they eat, in order to provide full exposure to the process. I feel it is much easier for many to overconsume in meat when you never have to see the meat outside of the already butchered state. Taking a life can aid in the appreciation of life, as paradoxical as that seems. What is life, other than an infinitely interconnected paradox.
Back to the chickadees. They definitely recognize me by now. Although I already had a conceptual understanding of their ability to do so, it is a whole different thing to very vividly experience the differences in their interactions with multiple people. They have become so accustomed to me that they hardly need to be rounded up when it is time for them to return to their coops. I enjoy speaking to them, and they seem to recognize certain words, especially retaining to food. No surprise there. Though they also recognize when I tell them that I am going to turn the wood stumps we have within their area. They love scavenging for bugs that gather beneath the stumps. I am convinced that the pretty little Australorp that I call my favorite is mutually in love with me. She’s a feisty one, but as soon as I approach she is right there, and seems to enjoy staying in whatever general area that I am in. When she is in her better moods she will let me pick her up without a fuss. When she if feeling feisty she likes to stay in range, but far enough to where can’t be easily picked up. Though she is now the first to come running when I call them back into the coops. I think she knows she is my favorite, though I swear some of the other hens are jealous and will take a peck at her now and again when they are all gathered around me. I have discovered that most of the hens really enjoy being lightly massaged at the sweed of their back (the area right before their tail feathers). It seems to help calm them when they feel anxious about returning to their coops.
I am an indecisive person.
My problem being that I feel equal about all of the things that I enjoy.
As my best friend would say, “You love everything.” And she’s right, I do. But in addition to the countless of other healthful benefits that Sarvodaya has brought into my life, it has encouraged some feelings of decisiveness. Even if in a, still, vague manner. It feels as if I’ve been there before. As if I’ve done all of this. It feels natural, and familiar. And when I speak of it to others I can hear it in my voice –how it moves me. How passionate I feel about this. And the more I consciously navigate it the clearer that it becomes that this is what I want. Well, to be in this world, at least. Tending to the earth. I’ve realized that I am immensely interested in ecology. In the relationships between things. In the relationship between humans and nature, and why it is that we seem to see ourselves as a separate entity. How to aid in the development of a mutually beneficial relationship between Humankind, and the rest of the living creatures upon this planet.
The potential intelligence of other creatures astonishes me. Most specifically of plant life, and our friendly little (not so) creepy crawlers. I believe that all creatures hold intelligence far beyond most of our preconceived notions. And that in turn each ecosystem, being compiled with intelligent life forms, are conscious “mega-organisms” themselves. Similar to my understanding of “God”.
I don’t yet know what will come with this interest in ecology, but I can feel something exciting and new, sprouting freshly beneath my skin. I look forward to experiencing it’s evolution.
For any of you who may also be interest in plant intelligence, I highly recommend “The Brilliant Green”, by Stefano Mancuso. It’s a light read, but it will keep you entirely captivated none the less.
Last week was the beginning of my chicken duty rotation. For the first day Manju and I cleaned and moved both coops. It wasn’t too difficult, as cleaning seems to be one of the strange super powers that I have (Along with finding thing. Seriously, I can find anything, it’s creepy..)
It feels good to tend to the chickens. I love observing them, watching as they interact with one another. Listening to the different sounds each one makes according to what it is they are encountering. I absolutely adore watching them dust themselves, which is their form of bathing –but in dirt. The way they fluff up all of their feathers and burrow themselves into the earth.
Here are some random fun facts on chickens.
And here is an interesting article on the social behavior of chickens.
I look forward to spending as much time with them as possible.
My gorgeous little feathered friends.
It feels as though time is quickening it’s pace.
Throughout these last few months Sarvodaya farms has become a sacred space for me.
And what a necessary space it is for one to have. A space to exist naturally, where you are encouraged to share, and ask. Where you are welcomed to express all of your seemingly odd interests and aspirations. A space with the right balance of understanding and diversity for one to freely change, grow, and evolve.
This space is my church,
and I pray to the Earth with hands caked in soil.
I will write more specifically about things that I have learned, things of relative interest, etc., soon.
For now, here are some moments that I found worth capturing.