So what came first the chicken or the egg?
A few years back my husband and I decided to have backyard chickens. I use the word “decided” loosely because there was not a whole lot of thought put into it on our part. One afternoon, we had a conversation that it would be nice to have chickens roaming our suburban backyard and to have fresh eggs everyday. So, to humor this little daydream I called over to our township office and with a giggle, asked if we were zoned to have chickens. To my surprise, I was told we were allowed to have four chickens. The even greater surprise came home with my husband that night. Four very yellow, fluffy newly hatched female chicks!! The kids were very excited! I was dumb founded!! We had nothing to feed them, no place for them to live and very little other information. However, within the first hour my husband had the chicks nestled in a cardboard box, with food and water and heating under a nice warm light bulb. As the chicks grew my husband searched around for wood and started making our chicken coup. Hence the beginning of my chicken education.
In a way it has been magical! The chicks from Spring usually lay their first egg between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That first year we were so excited…or “eggcited” as I used in our Christmas card. That egg really felt like a gift. A gift from the earth, so simple and so pure! My daughter was certain the eggs would be green inside and taste like grass because that was what she saw “the girls” eat. It has been three years now that we have never had to buy a single egg from the store.
Yes, it has been an education. A chance to learn about chickens and eggs, but so many other unexpected things as well. We usually have more eggs then we can use so it has been a good excuse to leave the comforts of home and gift a neighbor with a fresh dozen of eggs. I have learned this is a rare practice. Many people do not know their neighbors. I challenge you in this new year to make an effort to meet at least one new neighbor.
So…what did come first the chicken or the egg?
I don’t know that answer, but I know one would not exist without the other. Just as in life, it is a delicate balance and if we take time to nourish ourselves, then in that moment we are ready and able to stretch out and give. How will you nourish yourself in 2013?
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