Your life, your signature…

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“Despite overall similarities, each nest identifies it’s maker as surely as an artist’s signature”
Maryjo Koch

 Mommy… Did you know that your nest bears your signature?
When you stand back, what do you see?
I remember the days when my children were small.
My girlfriend would come over with her little battalion of boys
and I would make a pile of french toast.

The children would dress up and run barefoot in the grass.
They would make mud balls in the puddles.
There was laughter.
It wasn’t always neat, but it was always pretty.
It wasn’t expensive, but it was enough.
My nest was full of life.

What does your nest say about your life?
Is there music?
Does a candle flicker, adding a glow to your kitchen?
Have you taken your little one out to plant a seed?
Is there laughter?
Do you have time to drink it in?
Do you find yourself crying tears that flow from a pool of gratitude and love?

Who cares if it gets a little messy, just make sure it’s pretty.
Blanket forts are pretty.
Children in footy pajamas, surrounded by piles of books —
That’s pretty.
The mess of life —
That’s neat.

Or is the place in front of the television,
or the iPad in the lap,
or the phone in the hand — is that stuff of your day?
They will remember
and may become too dull to care.
Don’t allow entertainment to smother the life and creativity out of your children.

Take your little one out to watch the hopping robins tug worms out of the soft ground.
Take them out to pick daffodils and teach them to rub the soft petals on their cheeks.
Help them find the tiny buds that line the branches of spring.
Light a candle and use the fancy tea cups.
Write your signature with flare.
Today won’t come again.

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Maryjo Koch, Bird Egg Feather Nest,
via Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan
Photo credit: Julie Falk 

Growing Season

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There are four cars in the driveway now — if I get too close to the edge as I pull in, my tires inevitably slip off and sink deeply into the mud. The slimy ruts fill with water.
Action item:
• Haul in stone to extend driveway.

The grass is greening and the birds have grown loud, as they always do in the Spring.
As I look out the window of the hearth room, I catch a glimpse of a bluebird darting in to build it’s nest in the box on the back porch.

I scan the changing landscape and wonder when it will be dry enough to till.
Never it seems.
Spring always comes in with a soaking that lasts for weeks.
We’ll have to watch for the one weekend that comes — there’s only one.
On that weekend, the ground will be dry enough to till.
Miss it and lose.
Of course, last year, and the year before, and the one before that, and so on,
we were watching soccer games on that one dry weekend.
Hm. Not this year.
No spring soccer for the boy.

I dig into the cold dirt in one of my garden boxes- it’s full of worms, and I smile.
There is a constant rhythm — I believe I hear the beat.
It’s time for another growing season.

Time for my son to graduate.

One day soon, he will leave and take his contagious laughter with him.
He will pack up his crazy shrieks and silly songs and the kisses he plants on the top of my head.
Gone will be the thud of his giant, plodding feet.
My cupboards will no longer suffer the wrath of his vacuum powered appetite.

The halls will grow quiet and hollow with the lack of him.

It’s Saturday and he’s in Nicaragua. He will return and bring with him the final countdown.
And while he’s not leaving immediately, it seems the whole world is about to change.

But for today, it’s time to plant seeds,
for in spite of the mud and the muck, and the fact that I can’t till —
the ground is warming and it’s time for another growing season.
The grass is greening and the birds are growing louder,
and the ruts along my driveway are full of water.

Chicken Talk

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I pinch myself. It’s actually happening…
Very soon, my friends,
Very soon, there shall be fat ants and juicy worms.
Very soon, they shall throw us lettuces and kales from the garden.

Roadie Yoke, Spokeschicken
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Photo Credit: Will Whittier

Chicken Talk

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I’m glad you plan to give in to our demands. You really don’t want any more of this:

Roadie Yoke, spokeschicken,  Locally Associated Brotherhood of Egg Layers: A chicken union that ain’t gonna take no crap.

 

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Photo Credit: Will Whittier 2015

Chicken Talk

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The sun shines — but it is a cruel taskmaster.
We lay eggs day in and day out — but we get nothing.
No beloved bugs.
No juicy earth worms.
Just forced labor in cold conditions.
More white matter tonight.

We need a union.

Borfingtina Whittier, spokeschicken

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Photo credit: Will Whittier 2015

Chicken talk

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“Madam: This horrid, white matter, which has been hastily strewn about in great excess, just won’t do. We simply refuse to come out until you see fit to do something about it.”

Borfingtina Whittier, spokeschicken

 

Just outside the window…

 

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In the early morning hours, when the only sound is the quiet hum of the house, I open the window over my desk and wrap myself a little more tightly into my robe. The soft, cool breeze carries in a swirl of noise.

What’s left of the morning rain drips off the roof, tap, tap, tapping on the wooden porch beneath my window. Morning tunes, sung in all octaves, fill the air with layers of asymmetric artistry. Busy chickadees flutter and flap as they dart back and forth with bits of stuff for their nests. One brave, little fellow lands on the sill right in from of me- curiously seeking fuzzy treasure.

The grass is soggy and bright green. Robins land and bounce, cocking their heads as if to listen for the worms they spot and wriggle out of the soft ground.

Spring has finally swept over the land.

There are many days when the sky seems to boil and dark clouds roll; days when torrential rain forces the creeks to overflow, and large pools of water flood the low places in the terrain. Under the mud and muck, new life pulsates with wild energy.

A careful eye will see plants beginning to make their rhythmic rise from the soil. Finally, after a long, frozen winter in the midwest, gardens are being cleared and planted, and farmers are waiting for the perfect day to till and seed.

With the faithful entrance of Spring comes the annual invitation to join in the rhythm. A new day to dig, a new day to seed, a new day to water. A new day to release that which has passed, so that it can fortify that which is to come. A new day to work for the promise of a reaping.

Just outside the winter-stained window, there’s a noise that’s louder that the drone of this world; a ringing more urgent than the constant ping of the cell phone.

There is an offer to take part in a story so much more exciting than the one portrayed on screen.
It’s organic, it’s ancient, and it calls to our souls.
Arise and awaken, open a window and listen for the sound… new life is at hand.