I am happiest in the midst of a few projects, especially if they are things I’ve never undertaken before.
Recently, my family acquired five little chicks. We are raising them to be—you guessed it—chickens. Chickens who will leave us (hopefully) eggs every once in a while and snack on annoying bugs in the garden.
They have been bestowed some wonderful names: Rhonda, Blanche, Nancy, Ethel, and Gertie. And despite what you may think, each of these week old chicks has their own, vastly unique personality. It’s hilarious to watch them interact with each other and the items in their brooder. Example: Gertie has a particular fascination with the feeder and will dig her food out of the tiny hole and spread it out all over the bedding. I have no idea why she wants to do that, but she’s territorial about this act.
When I tell people I’m raising chickens and building a coop, etc, etc. I’m often met with shock or skepticism, which is expected and I would have reacted similarly in all likelihood. The next question is usually: why?
The idea was born in mere minutes. It went something like this:
My dad: You can have chickens in Cleveland.
Me: I have always wanted chickens! We should get some.
My mom: Fresh eggs would be good. Let’s do it.
All of us: Okay!
And then we got chickens.
There is something freeing about just doing something. We all throw around ideas on a daily basis, come up with some awesome plan, but following through is an entirely different story and we’re not as apt to do it. After all, it requires a leap in reality instead of in the imagination.
Sometimes though, following through can be satisfying and easier than we could have imagined.
All I did was research chickens, get a permit (quick and easy application), and reserve some chicks. The rest of the work is a delight (for me at least) in terms of chick care and coop creation. My dad loves to do rough carpentry and I love animals so we’ve happily taken on our new chores.
There are some activities, projects, and such that aren’t so easy. Some skills that we just don’t have yet or some projects we can’t undertake due to lack of funds or time or whatever. And as any sort of cliché would preach, you’ve got to start somewhere, never give up, practice makes perfect, blah blah blah.
But that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m interested in the spaces of your life that you can teach yourself something, where you can push further into a realm you may have decided is not for you or too difficult, those moments of why not? Why not do this when at some point I won’t be able to or why not do this if only for the experience of knowing and understanding just a tiny bit more than I did before?
It all circles back to a fostered curiosity, hanging on to the grandiosity of our childhood inquiries: where do eggs come from?
Could we have one?