Creature comforts

I walked out to the bird yard of our farm one morning in need of comfort and reassurance. My husband had recently left the family. I was worried about how my children were coping with the sudden change, and about how I should proceed with my life as well. The feelings of loss, grief, and turmoil had been all-consuming at times. Yet, as I saw the numerous chickens and turkeys milling about and the family Labrador joyously bounding at my heels, I had to smile. They were all so busy, happy, and productive, doing what they naturally do. The phrase “creature comforts” sprang to mind, and I realized this was a unique twist on the term’s original meaning. 

Living on a farm, I have never been one to spend energy getting attached to the animals that would of necessity come and go. And given the presence of coyotes, pack dogs, owls, and hawks in our area, it had never been wise for any of us to name or become overly attached to the flocks and herds. And yet that morning I realized that over time the animals had influenced our lives significantly.

There was the little black lamb we had to bottle feed. Like all lambs, he could spring straight up into the air from a flat-footed stance, and he literally danced with joy when my son would come into the paddock. One could tell that the lamb not only recognized Ethan, but he loved him. And there were the pea-green goslings we had found in a cage on the feed store steps. Their fidelity to one another was unwavering, and their resolve to protect each other against significantly larger and often frightening dangers was fearless and even fierce. I thought also of the peacock whose tail brought a sense of wonderment and awe to all who witnessed its beautiful and exacting designs unfolding, and the peahen and her incredible ability to mother each year’s brood of chicks. 

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A little more faith defeats fear
July 16, 2012

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