Wednesday, August 8, 2012
A week ago I had a very close encounter with a hawk. It was a beautiful, majestic animal. The power in its wings, the just plain intensity of its presence, were breathtaking. Unfortunately, the encounter was so up close and personal because the hawk had flown through the wires over our chicken yard and was eating one of my baby chickens.
It was a wily little chicken, but death dropping down from above is hard to avoid. When I stepped into the chicken yard, all unsuspecting of what I would find, all the other babies were cowering under an old rabbit hutch that is sitting in there, with one of our old hens (a truly good old bird) standing over them with her wings stretched over them protectively. Good Old Dorothy.
How did that one chick get selected from amongst a flock of 15? What did all the other chickens experience in that moment?
I can't protect them completely. Chickens are a terribly vulnerable (and tasty) little life form with many many predators out there. And right now, with various other things that are going on in my life, it all felt so horrible to face that fact. Life has these bad things in it. Life has hawks that drop from the sky. And you can't always stop that from happening; you can't make life perfect, it's not a fairy tale (although that's an interesting saying, since fairy tales are generally awful).
All I can do is string up my safety net over the chicken yard, buckle up the seat belts on my children, lock the front door as I leave the house, and take my vitamins. But sometimes it won't be enough. And I just have to find a way to live with that.