40

Poppies

A lot is going on right now and I’ve not had much time to write. I had a birthday this week and it got me ruminating. Here’s some of what I’ve learned in my 40 years. (Some of these say “you,” but they all mean “me.”)

1. clean something every day, even if it’s only your hands

2. read to your kids; it is food for life

3. mothering well is largely a matter of knowing what things to get excited about, and what not to

4. wine is wonderful

5. smiling makes you feel good and it’s free (sometimes I forget this one)

6. make a place for butterflies and birds in your world; you won’t be sorry

7. stuff is only stuff; it all wears out eventually

8. beware of modeling beeswax in the laundry

9. tell your story, but don’t get so caught up in telling it that you forget to live the next chapter

10. children are resilient; however, test this only with careful discrimination

11. make your own meaning, don’t swallow anyone else’s

12. read poetry; read everything

13. when you fuck up, breathe, and then start over

14. being married to your best friend is ideal

15. try new things every day

16. exercise is good for me even if I don’t like it

17. fashion is stupid—occasionally fun, but stupid

18. it feels good to help people

19. somehow, time can both fly and drag—at the same time

20. words can indeed hurt

21. onions and Brussels sprouts are actually delicious

22. sing more, dance more

23. be your own beautiful freaky self out loud; if you don’t you’re cheating everyone

24. avoid the pink aisle and boys need dolls

25. sometimes the best course of action is to set it on fire

26. vote

27. gardening is cheaper than therapy

28. feminism benefits everyone

29. art is important, and more important to make than to consume

30. boys are actually sweeter than they want you to think they are

31. love and kindness is all the religion I need

32. equality for only some is no equality at all

33. find your cause; better yet, find a dozen of them and get to work

34. miracles are everywhere and often go by the names of “humanity” and “nature,” “life” and “science”; as such, they are no less miraculous

35. making it often feels better than buying it

36. I cannot “do all the things”; nor should I try to

37. a whole lot of things that bother me today won’t matter a bit tomorrow, so I should just chill

38. I am still learning

39. friendship is as necessary to me as air

40. my ultimate career goal is still philanthropist

A Story for Leap Day

Blossoms Cose

It seems to me that Leap Day is a special day, one where magic might be closer at hand than usual, since it comes only once every four years. Surely the fairies and elves must come visiting on this special day, when spring magic is so potent and new!

I did some poking around on the Internet and found, well, not much. I asked our Waldorf teachers if there was a tradition of observing Leap Day, but no one I asked knew of any.

That didn’t sit too well with me, so I sat down and wrote a story to tell my boys. Here it is, in case you need a Leap Day story to tell.

**********************************************

The Boy and the Elf

by Sara E. Wilson

Once upon a time, in a land far from here and yet not so far, a child lived with only his grandmother in an old cottage with walls so thin that when the howling winds blew they found their way through the cracks to blow out the candles. The boy loved his grandmother very much and she loved him. They spent lots of time together every day. He helped her with the chores, bringing in the firewood and scrubbing the soup pot. He wound the yarn that she spun into neat little balls to be sold at the market, for he had good eyes and nimble fingers, but best of all, he had a warm, golden heart.

Although the grandmother sang to the boy, and baked him sweet cakes on his birthday, and told him stories by the fire every evening before bedtime, the boy sometimes felt lonely, for he had no brothers or sisters and no playmates. When grandmother went into town to sell her yarn, he sometimes stayed behind and spent his time wandering in the woods. He had a favorite creek, where he liked to catch frogs in summertime, and a favorite meadow, where he liked to lie on his back in the spring and watch the clouds fly past. He had a favorite tree that he hugged and climbed, whose coppery leaves he danced and jumped in during the autumn when they fell to the earth.  He also had a favorite cave in the mountainside at the very edge of the farmer’s orchard, where he dared himself to go in the wintertime.

As it was wintertime now, on the day the boy had some time to himself, he went to the small cave. He always hoped he might hear coming from it sounds of snorts and snores from a sleeping mama bear. He never did hear such sounds, but he never gave up hope of someday hearing them. The orchard was in full bloom now. The air smelled sweet and the trees were clouds of white and pink blossoms and the ground around the cave entrance was littered with pretty petals. He listened carefully, and heard not the hoped-for snores of bears, but a high-pitched chuckle coming from inside the cave.

The boy wondered what could be making such a noise and called out, “Hello! Is someone in there?”

Pop

There before him, just outside the cave, stood a little man. His nose was sharp and his ears, sticking out of two holes in his hat, were pointed. He was dressed all in brown from the tip of his tall hat to the cuffs of his long trousers. The only things about him that weren’t brown were his rosy cheeks and his very blue shoes.

“What do you want?” asked the little man.

“Why, nothing,” stammered the boy. “I just came to the cave to see if any bears were here sleeping.”

“No bears. Just me,” said the elf, looking rather cross that he had been discovered. “I come here to be alone.”

“Um, me too.” The boy looked down. “I’m usually alone unless my grandmother is with me. Why were you laughing?”

“I’ve just played a marvelous trick on the farmer’s wife, who forgets to leave out nibbles for me. I’ve soured the milk! And down the road a bit I came across two children shouting ungrateful words at their mother, so I’ve got them good, too. And that, my boy, is why I was laughing.”

“How did you get the children? What did you do?”

“While they were sleeping I tied their hair in knots. They’ll have a time of it brushing them out in the morning.” The little man burst into a fit of giggling lasting several minutes. “Well, since you found me here on a Leap Day, you have to tell me what you want—and, if it’s within my power to, I must give it. That is the magic of Leap Day, which comes but once every four years. So what’s it to be?”

The boy sat down and thought a good while about what he might ask for. While he waited, the little man first tapped his foot, then stood on his hands, then jumped up and spun in circles to entertain himself.

The boy didn’t want to wish for wealth or beauty or playthings. He and grandmother always had just enough to eat, so he didn’t wish for rich foods or sweets. He realized what he wanted more than anything was a friend. When he thought that, he smiled and listened hard for the little voice inside him to tell him whether that was indeed what he should wish for. The little voice in his heart said, yes.

He plucked up his courage and said to the upside-down elf, “I wish that you would be my friend, and teach me about fairies and gnomes and leprechauns, and creatures of the woods.”

The little man at first seemed surprised. He planted his blue shoes on the ground and stood up. Shock filled his wide brown eyes and he blushed from the hollow of his throat to the tips of his pointed ears. But then he smiled, and a giggle bubbled up from his belly. Soon he was guffawing and rolling on the ground again.

When he finally stopped laughing, he said, “And so it shall be, my friend. My little human friend. You will find me here, at this cave at the edge of the orchard whenever you come. You know I am here when you see the flowers. And we will talk and play and be fast friends. We’re Leap Day Friends forevermore.”

And from that day on, the boy never felt lonely again. He lived with and helped his grandmother, who loved him ever so much, and he visited the cave beside the farmer’s orchard as often as he liked to meet his elfin friend. They had such good times together and the boy learned ever so much.

And if it ever was, it is even still.

 

 

© Sara E. Wilson

 

Pin It

Lent and Sacrifice

Blossoms and Blue Sky

Today is the first day of Lent. At 39, I’m still negotiating my way through and around the beliefs and rites of my childhood. I think I’m not alone in this. One thing I do know is that I enjoy examining the whys and wherefores of traditional holidays, taking what I like and incorporating it into my family life, and leaving the rest behind.

The forty-day period of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter. Lent is observed in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant churches, and is a generally a period of fasting, as it recalls Christ’s forty day fast in the wilderness. It is traditional for people to fast during Lent, giving up rich foods such as meats on Fridays, or other special favorites. Lent provides an opportunity for self-denial, simplicity, and penitence—a kind of spiritual “spring cleaning.” The very name Lent is derived from the Germanic word for springtime.

Giving up something you love for a period of time is a kind of sacrifice, a discipline that you can choose to impose upon your life out of religious conviction and a desire to become closer to Christ through deprivation. For people who aren’t Christian, Lent offers a means of meditating on the differences between needs and wants, separating out those things that are nonessential to your life and true happiness.

Sacrifice is both comfortable and odious to many parents and teachers of children. We often must place the needs of others ahead of our own needs in caring for children and people in need. We are often aware we have sacrificed small things on the altar of our family ideals, such as late-night movies or fancy vacations. Our lives, whatever they were before, were immeasurably changed the moment we became parents. We gave up things we were, and gave up things we did. We may even feel we have sacrificed in big ways, perhaps our own personal goals or dreams, on behalf of the family we are blessed to have. Realizing what we have given up or put on hold “for now” or indefinitely can be a slap in the face; it can bring up feelings of dismay or discouragement. It can make us feel resentful.

Contemplating our own sacrifices in life may be uncomfortable. It is, however, a worthwhile endeavor. It can lead to clarity about ourselves, our values, and our life’s goals. It can lead to a greater appreciation for what we do have. We can ask ourselves, what have we gained in return for our sacrifice? What paths are we now walking that were closed to us before? What lessons have we been given, by virtue of our self-denial?

Lent is a perfect time for this kind of contemplation, whether your purpose is to become closer to God, or to accomplish a little “spring cleaning” of your psyche. Lent is usually observed in three ways: fasting, almsgiving (charity), and prayer.

Fasting: Imposing a small restriction on yourself, whether it is literally or figuratively a fast, can sharpen your awareness, making you more mindful of your thoughts and actions and whether they are in line with your values. Here are some ideas for fasting; you can decide if they are appropriate for yourself only or for your whole family:

  • Give up meat on Fridays during Lent, and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
  • Give up drinking alcohol or eating foods containing sugar for the whole period of Lent
  • Give up smoking for good and forever
  • Give up drinking coffee or tea
  • Give up your favorite other food
  • Give up watching TV and/or movies during Lent
  • Give away items you don’t really need, such as clothing, toys, and housewares

Almsgiving: Another way of observing Lent is to do something positive in the world. Finding ways to help others, donating time or money to charity, and cultivating an attitude of kindness and generosity toward people who are both intimates and strangers are other good ways to explore the idea of sacrifice. Give of yourself. You already know how to do this, but put some extra effort into it. The obvious place to start is in the home, so use your heightened Lenten awareness to practice acts of kindness and gentle words. You will gain more than you lose.

  • Donate money to a charity that helps people who have less than you do
  • Volunteer time to help an organization you respect
  • Help your neighbors in some way, perhaps with carpooling or yard work
  • Dedicate an hour or two of special one-on-one time with each member of your family
  • Prepare a meal or bake a cake together as a family, then give it away to someone who needs it more than you

Prayer: Lent can be an opportunity to develop a habit of daily prayer, and there are numerous liturgies used for this purpose. Set aside some time every day to pray, think, or meditate. Not everyone is comfortable praying, but one form of praying that may work for you is called “contemplative prayer.” It is a kind of quiet meditation in which one listens for God, or Source, or one’s own heart to speak in the stillness. Pay attention to that voice.

  • Find a few moments every day to sit quietly and listen to whatever rises within you; be kind to yourself even if what rises doesn’t seem “prayerful”
  • Read from scripture; there are many prayers specific to Lent
  • Read a poem in praise of nature or humanity; perhaps read the same poem every day or find a book of inspiring poems and read one each day
  • Meditate on Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul verses
  • Choose a historical figure that you deeply admire and read a biography about that person’s life; notice his or her struggles and sacrifices
  • Incorporate a morning or evening verse into your family’s daily rhythm; one that invokes our highest selves and our sense of wonder is appropriate

Finally, you can draw on examples and symbols of sacrifice from myth, religion, and human history to inspire you. Consider adding such symbols to your nature table, home altar, or place of prayer/meditation. Such visual symbols might include:

  • Jesus or Buddha
  • Mohandas Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, or other such historical figure
  • A favorite saint; many were martyred and made the ultimate sacrifice for their faith
  • An ancestor who serves as a role model and/or who made sacrifices on behalf of your family
  • Purple cloth (purple is a traditional color of Lent)
  • A portion of a meal set aside as a sacrifice (as is practiced in Buddhism and Hinduism)
  • An image of Persephone, Greek goddess of the springtime, who sacrifices herself for a portion of the year to live in the underworld and minister to the dead
  • Flowers, incense, grains, or seeds
  • A lamb (Christ is often called the “Lamb of God”); lambs are symbols of innocence and often served as sacrifices in the ancient world
  • A pelican; a medieval myth about the pelican made the bird a symbol of sacrifice (when mother pelicans returned to the nest to find their hatchlings slain, they pierced their own breasts with their beaks, and the blood of their wounds revived their offspring)
  • Personal symbols of something you have freely given up for the sake of someone else


Whatever you choose, place these symbols intentionally and spend a moment or two each day looking at them. They will speak to you as you move through the season of Lent.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell me if and how you observe Lent. Are your observations traditional or ones you’ve invented for yourself? How do they help or serve you? I love to hear from you.

* This article was originally published in the Little Acorn Learning March Enrichment Guide.

Pin It

My Christmas Hearth and Musings

Christmas Hearth

This is my mantel for Christmas. Although I don’t buy new decorations every year, I do try to think of new ways to display them. I’m pretty happy with this one; it’s simple and sweet and repurposes some old items in a new way. In front of this hearth is where my children draw and play with Legos nearly every day.

My Mantle

I used an old store-bought (plastic?) garland of “greenery” and added our collection of Waldorf woolen angels. I think we’ve received one wool angel per year for the last six years or so. They didn’t go up on our tree this year because our tree is smaller than usual. But I couldn’t not put them out. I think they look terrific in a group this way.

Woolen Angel Garland

I indulged in buying one new Christmas decoration this year: a box of 15 straw star ornaments for $7.99. I adore them. They are so intricate and pretty, and look just right here.

Wool Angel, Straw Star

The truth is I have materials for making such straw star ornaments, which are a traditional German Christmas decoration, but I haven’t had time to sit down and try to figure out how. I have a package of natural color straw and red straw. I have gold thread and red thread for tying off intersections in the stars. I secretly hope to have a few free hours to play with this, however, I admit I’m doubting I will. It looks really hard to me.

Nativity

This is the nativity scene that my grandmother bought me about ten years ago. It’s porcelain and fancy and very colorful and, although I never would have bought it,  I love it. Each year when I unwrap it, I say a silent prayer and hope that we don’t accidentally break it. After Christmas I carefully pack it back into the original box in the hopes that it will be safe another year. It is sitting on a cloth I wove myself.

My "Waldorf" Angels

These are my “Waldorf” resin angels. I bought them at a craft fair a few years back for $6 each. I call them Waldorf because they are faceless. In the vase are dried daylily stems from my garden. I collect them as they dry out because they’re interesting to me and I’m always trying to use found natural items in my crafting. Ian thinks I’m nuts because I save these, especially as I usually don’t have any idea how I’m going to use them. The group on the right is still merely rubberbanded together. I like that they are so tall and so bleached out.

Today I saw a blog with the most amazing Christmas decorations I have ever seen. The home that was featured was so exquisitely beautiful it looked like a whole team of stylists were on staff full-time and that no one lived there at all. There wasn’t a single item out of place or bit of evidence that a child even walked through. It was glitzy and glamorous and completely soulless. It also looked like entire villages of people could be fed for months on what was spent to decorate that home, and that realization made me feel rather ill. Frankly, it was obscene—a word I don’t use lightly. That display of wealth and glitter made me feel so weird and conflicted that I almost didn’t write this post about my nifty mantel that I hodgepodged together. I mean, isn’t this the same kind of thing on a “poor-girl” scale?

Aesthetics are highly individual. Surrounding ourselves with art and beauty is one of the pleasures of life. Doing so lifts my spirits and helps me to feel like I’m raising children in a happy, intentional home. The creation of and appreciation for art is a celebration of our humanness, one of the crowning jewels of humanity. I don’t need or desire to be judgmental about the way that other people express themselves. I just know that if I had that kind of money, I wouldn’t be using it that way. I’d be feeding people.

Baking

Persimmon Pulp

It’s a domestic arts day. The rye bread dough is rising. Next I’m moving on to the cookies. My friend G gave me persimmons this week and they are beautifully ripe and squishy. So I’m making persimmon cookies to share with friends this evening. I get to spend some time with some of my favorite women in the world tonight to mark a momentous occasion, make some magic, and have a feast together. My heart is full today of memories of wild nights in the woods and adventure, and also of quiet moments in the kitchen with a beautiful mentor. I’ve lit my baking candle and it’s glowing near the dough to warm and encourage the yeastie-beasties to make their happy bubbles, just like she taught me to do.

My boys are out right now, buying supplies for the elving they are doing. They have big, manly plans for working in the garage and I’m told I must keep to myself today, lest I ruin my surprise. This feels just right to me today. My heart is full of my women near and far, and I cannot wait to be surrounded by them tonight. It’s been too long.

Persimmon Cookies

Painting: My Copper Kettle Studies

Copper Kettle Study 1: Payne's Gray and White Only

In mid-November I went back to my painting class after a two month hiatus. I had to earn some dough before I could return to class. In the time that I was away from it, my stress levels soared, I got depressed, and things looked bleak. I’m not saying all of this was related to not painting—there was plenty of other stuff going on. But I remember thinking during all of that, I just want to paint. I yearned for it. I decided for the sake of my mental health that continuing my classes was good for me.

And it is. I’m now three more classes in and I’m still loving it. This is a series of three paintings of a copper kettle. The first was the black and white one above. We were instructed to use only Payne’s gray and white. The point of the study was to focus only on value and not on color. I have a lot to learn about this, but value is the relationship of dark and light. With the two paint colors I mixed a middle gray, then a light gray and a dark gray.

Color Wheel

Modern Color Wheel from My Class

Goethe’s Color Wheel (for Fun and Because It’s Pretty)

After Thanksgiving we were given a new exercise: Paint the same subject in basically the same position on the same background using complementary colors, which are opposite on the color wheel. When mixed in equal proportions, they should create a neutral gray. I’ve learned that in painting “gray” is not so specific a shade as it is in my mind. There are lots of grays and, well, isn’t that wonderful?

Copper Kettle Study 2: Viridian and Red Orange Only

This second study above was painted with a blue-green and a red-orange. All the colors you see were mixed from those two and then tinted with white to ultimately fill my palette with 15 different colors. My kettle wasn’t in the exact same position as in the first study, but the effect is the same. (I just noticed there is a diagonal shadow in the bottom right corner of these photos. That’s not in the painting; it’s in my window and the photographs.)

Copper Kettle Study 3: Triad of Orange, Sap Green, and Violet

This one is last night’s study: same kettle, different exercise. The point of this study was to use three colors from the color wheel, a triad. (A color scheme in which three colors of equidistant distribution on the color wheel are used, e.g., red, blue, and yellow.) We could pick any three, so long as they had the right relationship to each other. I chose green, orange, and violet. I mixed and mixed these three colors and then tinted with white to get roughly 17 colors on my palette. Just doing this was awesome. I also had three goals in mind when I was painting this third kettle study: 1) paint a little faster, 2) paint thicker (use more paint), and 3) take more risks.

Now, this copper kettle isn’t exactly the thing I want to have a painting of in my home, much less three paintings. But this was a fascinating exercise and I’m so glad I did this. I have a much greater appreciation for color and mixing than ever before. Also, I no longer feel that every painting has to prove anything. The doing of it was the thing.

 

Thanksgiving Letter to My Husband

Ian

I am grateful for …

 

your humor

your smile

your ceaseless, devoted love

your boundless curiosity and need to know

your intelligence and courage

the way you hold me at night and I melt into you

how I can always find safety in your arms

 

your tireless caretaking and delicious cooking

the way you will play Legos for hours, create movies and games, build with, cook with, read to

and otherwise spend time with our children

they soak up every moment with you

the way you do the things I don’t want to do because you want to spare me

the way shield me from news or stories that will hurt me

 

our sweet children,

with all their random noises and sticky fingers and smelly feet

how they are intense and playful

learn every moment,

and trust that their world is safe and beautiful

because it is

they are the gifts we gave to and share with each other

and they crack open my heart to make it bigger every day

 

our health

and healthy relationships

our community of creative darlings

and loving family

how we are nestled in among all these loving people

who share with us their stories and wisdom and passions

 

our beautiful, wacky home

with its hundreds of colors and clutter of goofy, artistic treasures

its happy memeories

its fullness and warmth

its laughter and chaos and rhythms

how it always has enough

the way we are always filling it up with our friends

the garden, which is our labor of love

that pleases me with each blossom and every leaf

and reminds me to celebrate small things

 

These things, and so many more, are my blessings and I’m grateful for all that we are and all that we have built together—for so many of my blessings circle back to you, my love.

Today’s Blessings

Beeswax Lantern

It’s been hard lately. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Today was good in these important ways:

Sleepover friends kept Lucas and Asher well entertained until 3 p.m. I got to work during this time (in between their many feedings).

They created a “Kid Café” in my kitchen and served herbal tea and toast. Lucas wrote out everyone’s orders: “Bred tostid, Honey, Buder, sleepytime.”

I cut a persimmon in half to show the kids the eight-pointed sunburst/wheel of the year inside. They didn’t much care, but I did.

T’s favorite piano piece got markedly better as the day wore on. She practiced it about a hundred times. It’s a lovely, sad piece of music that she is playing by heart.

I watched a kid-made paper puppet play. It was extremely goofy. Asher sneaked in a mention of “poop” at every opportunity to see if I would react.

I wrote a poem. I made a pretty gewgaw. I made plans for more creations.

As soon as their friends left, Asher fell apart and fell asleep. While my sick baby napped (and coughed and cried), Lucas needle-felted two new toys for himself: a knight and an archer, complete with weapons.

I lit candles and enjoyed them, even though my sick little one screamed that he hates candles and why won’t anyone listen to him and put them out?!

I left the house for an hour for groceries and supplies. I bought whiskey. The outing was worth it.

The Internet made me cry, but then it made me cry again in a good way because as awful as some people can be, others can be even more amazing.

My husband is dreamy.

 

 

 

Fitness and Me

I should be doing a bunch of other things right now. Instead I’m going to talk in this space about fitness, my own fitness, in particular.

I am having more success this year than possibly ever before. Which is why hurting my back last weekend has really thrown me off. See, I’m not not exercising this week because I don’t want to. Well, OK. I’ll turn that around: I’m not exercising this week not because I’m too lazy, or my kid is sick, or there’s no time, but because I can’t. Because I should heal from whatever the hell I did to myself. Because I don’t want to make this mild injury worse.

And, well, this not exercising is kind of driving me nuts. I can actually, honestly say it: I’m missing my exercise this week. I’m feeling really hampered by this mild back pain, this slight impediment to my normal, everyday movements. And I don’t like it. I don’t want to rest.

Those who know me will realize how big that is.

Ian deserves all the credit, except for the fact that those calories I’ve been burning regularly since January 17, 2011 were my calories and I burned them. But Ian helped an awful lot—by coaxing, encouraging, cajoling, rousting, pushing, and loving me into our shared exercise and my fitter, stronger body.

It’s worked. I’ve accomplished 121 workouts since we started seven months ago. I won’t go into all the gritty details. The truth is I hated many of them, especially those that began and ended before 7 a.m. But what I like is the accumulation of them. The collection of workouts. The notches on my bad-ass belt. The sparkly jewels on my custom rainbow-and-unicorn reinforcement star chart that Ian made for me.

My relationship to exercise in general has always been wobbly—often emergency-room wobbly. Exercise has always meant to me asthma, asthma, and more asthma, running around toxic school fields of allergic green death. There have been some small exceptions in my adult life, since asthma maintenance drugs have improved immeasurably over those I took as a child. The crux there is they were always brief exceptions, short forays into the realm of normal people. In high school I enjoyed dancing in musical theater productions quite a lot. In college I walked all over the hills of Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Saint Andrews in Scotland. During one of my office jobs, Ian and I managed to drag ourselves to the gym with good regularity.

Something always came up, though. Asthma. A massive deadline, or a whole season of them. A nursing baby in arms. Then another. It just got more and more complicated.

K, never mind all that. The point is: I’ve been running. A little. Since about March. A little here, a little there. Almost 2 miles, then almost 2.5. Then 2.7 miles a bunch of times, then that distance without any walking breaks at all.

Last Saturday, I ran 3.8 miles in a row without stopping. And when I was done, I felt fantastic.

So, I’m a runner? Me? Asthma girl? Running is the freakin’ Holy Grail to me because it’s always been so unattainable.

And now I’m benched. Slightly injured. For now. For not much longer, I hope. Because now that I’m on a roll—succeeding at this difficult thing—I really don’t want to lose it all and go back to Square-One Failure. The Harpies are shouting in my ear, “See, you can’t actually be a runner. You’re no athlete. Who do you think you’re kidding?” And I fear I will have to start over. I have fears.

I also have two stars to go before my rainbow is complete.

Firefly Is Ailing

IMG_7173

I’m not sure what happened, but our littlest chick, Firefly, is not doing well. I first noticed this morning when I came in to change the chicks’ water. I easily counted nine chicks. Where was the other one? The chicks were all crowding into one corner and I moved them away from it with my hand. At the bottom of the pile of chicks was Firefly. They had been standing on her. (See her down low in the right back corner? I didn’t yet realize she was being trodden on when I took this photo.)

Her left leg appears to be injured, but I can see no obvious wound. She can’t put any weight on it, and seems to have only enough strength to kind of flop about a little. We have isolated her in a small box with her own food and water. I’ve watched her move about her box, and eat and drink many times today. She is sleeping often. I’m more concerned that she’s getting adequate water than I am about her eating. With other animals, eating is a sign of not yet being finished, but dehydration kills quickly.

Injured or Sick Firefly

She appears to be more comfortable now, but who knows? She is an 18- or 19-day-old chicken. And we are inexperienced at raising chicks. While she has slept today,  she has at times appeared dead, with limbs akimbo and neck splayed out on the litter. (But even healthy chicks sometimes look dead when they’re sleeping.) At least we know that if she is indeed on her way out of this world, she can pass in peace; she won’t be tormented by her flock. Chickens aren’t at all compassionate toward other chickens with weakness or injury.

I wonder what happened to her. I keep trying to figure out how she was hurt. I wish she weren’t Lucas’s favorite. I don’t really expect to find her still living in the morning.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books







  • Archives

  • Tags

  • Categories

  •  

  • Meta