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

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

Crawling out of bed tired

Lately, the little things don’t look like backyard adventures.
They look more like shopping for dress pants and cheap ties that might fit the boy for two weeks,
and practices and performances,
and algebra lessons,
and end of semester field trips,
and birthday celebrations,
and meetings,
and big decisions for next year.

The little things look like begging sorry to my honey for leaving bagel crumbs on the  kitchen counter as I go flying out the door.
Looks like forgetting what I came for
and coming back for what I forgot.

Looks like living in the country means we can’t run home and throw in a load.
Looks like we’re getting things halfway done and digging through piles for socks,
Looks like drinking lots of coffee and crawling out of bed tired.
Looks like not finishing anything.

Looks like wondering how other people get all this stuff right,
and then remembering that I’m almost 50 and
most certainly beyond such penchants to compare.
It also looks, conversely and hormonally,
like I’m old enough not to give a flip what anybody else is doing and how.
Looks like I’m glad for my girlfriends- doing whatever their doing,
smiling at me with that knowing smile,
it’s in the little things- even when they go very fast.

Looks like racing out early in the morning to check the baby bluebirds in my bath robe and staying up late listening to the non-stop, run-on sentence plans of two very active, young people. Trucks and cars and apartments and jobs and school and girls and guys and this one and that one and today and forever…
golden sound waves and bleary eyes.

Looks like my husband can’t find me,
but my toes can still find his toes under the covers.

Looks like my boy will drive.
Looks like I will soon be forced to wear shorts again.
Looks like I won’t be getting any younger.
Looks like I don’t know what’s coming next.

Looks like, when it comes to self improvement, my greatest opposition is

Looks like the little things are imperfect and profound and sweet and that even in the messed up mess of the day, I find myself stopping to say thank you.

Life in little things looks like embracing frustration and reaping joy,
It looks like running on empty and finding it full.
It looks like this life, this very minute.

Photo by Will Whittier@2012

Thank you God for little things,
Thank you for my little people, who aren’t so little anymore,
Thank you for the little moments that add up to big ones.
Thank you for my faulty processes and my little failures,
Thank you for stolen moments and infinite noise.
Thank you for the little things.

Happy Spring…

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Ahhhhh… Happy Spring! 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

This fat, little toad waves “Hello to you!” from my garden.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky , is by no means a waste of time.”
Sir T. Lubbock
(pg 11. Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Bluebird eggs!
This nest is on my back porch and I go out 100 times a day to see if we have babies.

“A bird’s egg comprises a wondrous balance. It bears the weight of an incubating parent, and yet is not so thick that the grown hatchling cannot get out.”
Maryjo Koch, Bird Egg Feather Nest
(pg 144, Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan)


Photo by Catherine Whittier© 2012

Momma bluebird sitting on her eggs to keep them warm.

“Incubating birds develop brood patches- areas on the abdomen that are bare of feathers. Here networks of fine blood vessels lie close to the surface. These distribute body heat and keep [the eggs] at their normal incubating temperature- about 93 degrees.”
Alexander Wetmore, Song and Garden Birds of North America
(pg 62, Meditations For Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Daddy bluebird is protective; he spends a considerable amount of time chasing woodpeckers away from a nearby bird feeder. He also frequently visits the nest. He is so elusive, the minute I open the door or window to take a picture, he’s off~ in a flash of brilliant blue.

“Nest building takes place most frequently in the morning. The male usually guards the birdhouse while the female makes trips to gather nesting material, or he may follow her around.”
Donald and Lillian Stokes, The Complete Birdhouse Book
(pg 48, Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

“Propagation is work. Real work. How a bird manages to charm a mate, design and construct a nest, incubate eggs, feed hatchlings incessantly, and defend it’s territory, seems an exhaustive, if not impossible feat.”
Maryjo Koch, Bird Egg Feather Nest
(pg 22, Meditations For Mothers, Elisa Morgan)


Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

The same God that hovered over the waters of the dark and empty earth,
The God who simply said, “Let there be light,” and there was~
He hovers over my heart.

The same God that separated the light from the dark, and the day from the night,
The God that suspends the moon and the stars,
The same God that decided upon watercolors for the sky
and a rhythm for every sunrise~
That God hovers over my heart. 

The God who gathers waters and calls them seas,
The God who asked the earth to bear fruit,
The God who formed the tiny seed, 
The God who fortified the soil with every necessary thing~
That God hovers over my heart.

The great and mighty artist,
The grand designer,
The wild sculptor,
The fierce lover of all manner of good things,
The One who infuses every speck with life~
He hovers over my heart 

This great God,
This smiling One who parts the seas,
This One who weaves with His breath~
Wraps His ancient and expert hands around mine
and whispers, “Create.” 
He invites me to close my eyes and see in color.
This God, this One with laughing eyes,
The One who designed the toad and the firefly,
The bluebird and the flower,
This God~
He hovers over my heart.

Catherine Whittier © 2012  

Happy Spring my friends… He hovers over your hearts!

the empty flower pot

Photograph by Willa © 2011. Used with permission.

Today, I startled a little bird who has taken refuge in the hanging flower pot outside my window. That pot swings empty all winter long, until one happy day when a visitor makes it home.

Sometimes, Spring in Indiana will appear instantaneously and surprise us.
Our gray, listless skies suddenly fill blue and sunshine reaches down to lift our tired spirits out of the brown grass.
There was no such sudden transition this year…
This year, we all watch for signs.
We are not going from gray and brown to blue and green.
We are going from frozen white to flood. Out of our mucky mud pops life.

Photograph by Willa © 2011. Used with permission.

Out here, on the county roads, over acres of farm land,  it’s not metropolis.
Valuable antiquity is not found in streets lined with stunning architecture or in fabulous stone buildings that surround timeless fountains- but rather, in fields that yield fruit year in and year out… in unending stories of flood and drought; in people whose breath is tied to the pulsing, changing seasons.

Photograph by Willa © 2011. Used with permission.

This year, the fields are not yet freshly tilled and sown with seed.  Last season’s rows are trapped in pools of water that stand in the way of the farmer who waits. Gardens of mud remain untended, while seeds and flowers sit on porches ready to go in the ground.

The leaves of last Fall are matted and muddy. Clusters of knotted equipment and deserted implements lie about naked for all to see- waiting to be dressed and hidden for summer.

Photograph by Willa © 2011. Used with permission.

Frustrated by endless downpour, we are forced to take a seat and wait.
We are poised to till and dig…
Ready to plant and harvest…
Everything seems to be stubbornly delayed- yet we can hear the magnificent rhythm pulse on…
We see little birds take refuge in high places to hide their tiny eggs and wait.
We watch as green pops through the murky pools…
We hear the peepers sing their faithful songs… and we marvel-
somehow stunned.

Winter has left us once again!
The sun rises and sets, and with each new day, life springs forth from the earth.
The farmer and the gardener wait for the soil to break dry and God watches over all.
My empty flower pot is full of life.
Oh, how I love Spring!

Photograph by Willa © 2011. Used with permission.
Aren’t these photographs amazing? I love the texture. They make me want to tell stories about a far away place. They were taken by my new Indiana artist friend who collaborates with another artist to create the textures. You must go and meet her yourself. See Willa’s Photostream at:
 Please forgive the re-posting… I’m testing my Facebook interface…