I’m not a believer in “luck”. I use the term freely, but to me it means “fortune”. If something works to my advantage, I call it “lucky”, but I really mean that I was fortunate or blessed. And the older I get, the less I believe in coincidence. I believe God is in all of it.
And when you believe that – that there are no coincidences – stuff starts to mean more. You’re more open to learning from it, because you believe you’re supposed to. You tune in to the universe because you believe it’s trying to tell you something. “I ran into you at the store for a reason….” “I read this article because it said something I needed to hear….”
The experience of moving to a farm has been profound for us. For many reasons, we feel as though we were meant to be here. And living on a farm – especially when you didn’t start out on one – is like taking a masters course in “the meaning of life” and “the way people are” and “what’s important”….all stuffed into one Little Patch of Heaven.
Something about the rhythm and the pace. The lack of control over the weather and the nature of the animals. It’s humbling and thought-provoking. Who hasn’t gazed at a sleeping dog and contemplated his life? Admiring its simplicity and clarity of purpose and priorities.
So, since it’s no coincidence we ended up on this farm, I am particularly keen to find the meaning in it. And there are messages everywhere if I listen. One of the richest places to harvest these messages is from our animals. The relationships between species. The cats and the dogs. The goats and the llamas. And chickens with other chickens. In fact, one of my favorite hobbies on the farm is chicken-watching.
Not to freak out the people I know, but I see us in those chickens. I watch how they interact as they go about their business. I see their personalities and their pecking order. I see arrogance and humility. I see alliances and bullies. I see trust and suspicion. I see slobs and neatniks. And they’re wildly entertaining. I can laugh at it all and love each chicken. That’s a good thing. As a result of my chicken exposure, I have more patience and affection for the chickens at work. And maybe for myself, too.
Truth is, we’re all just clucking around trying to find a bug or get a good dust bath every once in a while, while the other chickens are trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to figure out who’s in charge and who to avoid. We figure out when and where it’s safe to nap, and what time we should really head back to the coop for the night. We worry about our feathers – some of us only care if something itches, while others see our feathers as a true asset. And when we lay an egg, we feel good about it. We like to sit on it for a while, or have someone else sit on it for us. And eventually, someone takes the egg away and we try to lay another one. Life goes on.
I don’t believe our arrival on this farm was a coincidence. I’m on a quest to figure out why we were given this great gift and what we’re supposed to do with it.
And I’m starting in the coop.