We cut down a tree near the chicken coop last month. I sat on the stump and watched the hens going about their scratching and roosting and chuckling. They came running up, but soon dispersed when I didn't throw in any greens for them to eat. Some of these hens had a cold on Monday but they all look fine this evening. Art has been caring for them while our neighbors are out of town.
I walked into our easement and spent a few minutes pulling up weeds so the native species we planted last spring will have room to take over. With an armload of plants, I started for the yard waste bin but stopped to chat with my neighbor first. We both have kids in their early 30s, grown and gone, and grandchildren who come over. His grandson's swingset is what has attracted other neighborhood children to spend time there. My neighbor and I agreed that life is good.
After disposing of the weeds, I walked through our garden, noticing how the trees planted last spring are going to yield fruit - an apple, pear and cherry tree have lots of tiny round green fruit that will be ripe in another month or two. And the blueberries are thriving, and the honeysuckle we planted last week has found the post we want it to climb, and the grapes this year are going to find their post as well.
Art had put netting around the trees to keep the birds out. I saw a small bird running around the cherry tree, making a clicking noise. Looking into the netting, I saw a baby bird tangled in it. I tore the netting away from the bird and lifted it out. It ran into the bushes and after a few minutes the clicking from the mother stopped; I think they must have found each other again.
I sat in the garden for another ten minutes, surrounded by our garden, seeing what's come up in the raised beds, looking forward to the harvest. I agreed, again, that life is good.
Half an hour later, I went outside again to watch the chickens heading into their roost for the night. I think it must be the light, but at dusk they meander to the ladder, in a particular order, and walk up to the shelter for the night.
On my way back in I saw my cat, Larisa, stalking by the driveway. I picked her up and took her inside. She shot through the house and leaped through her door in the back. I went back out and she had already returned to her stalking. Not good. I shooed her away and watched the little bird - apparently still without its mama - until it disappeared into some thick shrubbery. Larisa slunk under the truck to evade capture again. For the first six years of her life the cat lived entirely indoors. Stalking must be instinctive. I think about the ecological balance of our neighborhood and feel mild guilt that we let her out.
I've begun taking a natural supplement - it's got hops, valerian, passion flower and a few other herbs in it. I notice I'm not trapping worries in my head and rehashing them until I get anxious, and the hot buttons that sometimes cause me to be defensive don't appear to be active. It's not at all like a tranquilizer. More like something that makes me more me. I'm grateful to the friend that recommended it.
Life is good.