March 2011

"when the world wearies…

and society ceases to satisfy,
there is always the garden”
-Minnie Aumonier
Or might I slightly amend that to “there are always the hens”?

Or best of all, a garden full of hens…
I do hope this works! Isn’t The Bower up-to-date now, with Moving Pictures? Seriously, tho’, when I saw that my son had filmed our little women in the kitchen garden, and that it was all so peaceful with the birdsong in the background and the carpet of tiny flowers, I wanted to share it with you.
For a few months now we have been gathering a sweet handful of eggs from the henhouse each evening. Well, I say henhouse, and there are sometimes two or three eggs there, but the other two usually require a hunt around all the lovely, golden, straw-scattered nooks in what we call our barn.
But it is worth the effort.
And last week I discovered something new about chickens (or, at least, our newest flock) when I took my mom for a walk to the old orchard (the one the goats ate most of many years ago!), and that is that chickens like to take walks with us. We had already discovered that with our cats who follow us through the fields (and sometimes woods), and as my mom and I made our way over the hummocky grass towards the blooming trees, the hens followed along with us on the goat’s path on the other side of the fence. As we sat beneath the blossoms of the old pear tree, the hens murmured and pecked nearby and took their leave when we did a little while later.
“Good morning, dear Jane…come out into the sunshine. I have a bowl of warm mash waiting for you near the house.”  Fresh mornings and dusky evenings in the barn, bright straw and grassy hay, nubby grains and crystal clear water from the pump, soft feathers and softer voices….all this our hens
give to me.

P.S. Many of these photos, as well as the film, are by my son Caleb….including the last (please excuse my rather odd pajama/sweater combination : ). When he leaves home sometime in the near future, you may never see another photo me, for it is always Caleb who beautifully photographs many beautiful ordinary moments in our days.


little bumps on twigs
 tiny blossoms here and there
 now the earth is spilling over with bloom

such hard, huge things going on the world
 much to pay attention to in our own little sphere, also
just trying to take it all in
wishing there were more hours in the day
to just acknowledge…absorb…work it out…
 or just feel a prayer…until words return
P.S. So grateful for the birthday wishes…I read each one with sweet pleasure.