Good Things for a Bad Day

Day 93 of 365

Today was tough for both of us. Today, Ron processed the last of our meat chickens, and it was a rough day. The whole process makes me think heavily about life and death, my own death, the impermanence of things, what my human self takes from the world, and so on. We both work on these days. Ron does the main work quickly, respectfully, and carefully, and I assist with cleaning. We work toward a common goal, but we are both alone all day long–with thoughts of death.

I actually had a dream last night that I was my old self, like my teenage self, and I didn’t know things or reflect on things so much. I still lived in the small town I grew up in. My world was so much simpler. And, in my dream, the character of myself was happier. I woke up and told Ron about my dream. “It makes perfect sense you would dream that,” he said.

Interestingly, one of the first positive things I noticed today was the Monarch butterfly caterpillar our kind neighbor gave to us to feed milkweed and watch grow into a butterfly. We do this every year, and I never see it turn chrysalis. I just wake up one morning, and there it is–all changed. This morning, I saw that chunky caterpillar make its way up the jar and throughout the day, I watched it turn into a chrysalis. I checked back over and over and over.

I have no idea what I thought was going to happen, but what happened surprised me. It climbed to the top, attached to the little screen at the top of the jar, and then started shrinking and changing color. It turned into a J shape. The biggest surprise to me was how much it just–transformed.

And that reminded me of an essay I read in my 20s about death. It was written by an atheist who explained death to her daughter and explained that she didn’t need to believe in life after death, that she would become the grass or a dandelion, and this was beautiful to her. This did not sit well with me in my 20s, but clearly, the essay stayed with me. Today, I still believe there might be something else after death, but I have to say, if I am just transformed into different energy and become a dandelion, I am more than okay with that now.

Isn’t it strange how sometimes it seems like the universe gives us what we need? Maybe I’m just picking out what I need. Either way, the caterpillar transforming on a day when death was forefront in my mind was really helpful to me.

And there were other good things. Ron has grown melons on our garden! This is a first. He tried some years ago, but it didn’t get hot enough. Last year, one of my friends grew melons in her Maine garden, so I told Ron, who said he would try again this year. Well, it was certainly hot enough, and we had the first one today. It was the yummiest melon I think I have ever tasted. And it was beautiful.

Finally, I wrapped up the evening watching Juliet’s little abandoned baby. This is the one who I told you about who ran into the big chicken yard to steal bites of watermelon. This chicken is fantastic! She cried for about half an hour when Juliet ditched her. Usually, babies will cry for days if the get ditched early. We had one hen, Phoebe, who cried for weeks. I didn’t know what in the world we were going to do for her.

But this little girl is tough. Tonight, I found her in the duck yard. I told her to watch out, that the ducks were mean, but she’s fast. So I guess she wasn’t worried. She’s on the move constantly, but I managed to get this picture of her. Isn’t she lovely? Just a plain barnyard mix chicken full of personality and lots of smarts. I admire her greatly. I have to find the best name in the world for her. It has to be from a Shakespeare play because she was raised by Juliet. Isn’t she lucky to be born into a little flock where she will be admired so greatly? Aren’t I lucky that I get to know her?

I have some thoughts on luck, but I am not sure they sit well with most people. Maybe I’ll write about luck another day, but maybe I won’t. I’m definitely thinking way too much today.

2 thoughts on “Good Things for a Bad Day

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