Last week Ann asked if I had two dogs as usually Rosie is in my photos. Here are Alice (left) and Rosie together last night for Ann, and to remind us all of the pleasure pets can bring to our lives.
When I came home from work yesterday, where I was so busy I didn't stop for tea, lunch or bathroom breaks (eek!), I walked into our home to find even more of the floor ripped out, furniture moved from the lounge room, a bookcase in the kitchen and the lounge packed in tightly behind my computer desk. Then fate stepped in with the most wonderful counterweight.
A couple of weeks ago, one of our Rhode Island red chooks went broody for the first time. She's so focused on becoming a mother hen that she has to be physically removed from the nest to eat and drink. And when she is removed, she runs to the bucket to drink, runs to the feeder to eat, then runs back to the nest, settles down again to try to hatch unfertile eggs. We want some more chickens so we decided to look for a rare breed that we could raise with a dual purpose. We get eggs and a rare breed, and many of them are dying out, is given more space in this fragile world of ours.
I asked around and was contacted online by a lovely lady in Perth. She only knows me from my writing but she said she had an excellent line of bantam Partridge Wyandotte chooks (bottom right hand photo) and that she could send me some fertile eggs. These chooks had been given to her by a vet who had raised them over the years to a very good show standard, but he now has a terminal illness. He had given them to her with the hope that his Wyandottes would live on. Of course I was interested but they were on the other side of the country - 3600 kilometres (2250 miles) away. I've been silently hoping for the past week that we would be lucky enough to raise these chicks, but the likelihood of that happening, because of the contraints of distance and cost, seemed very remote.
When I walked into the increasing wreck that we are calling home at the moment, among all the emails and messages, this gem was waiting, and verbatim I will quote it: "I have 8 [eggs] already, if the girls play nicely I should be able to get the eggs on a Friday flight, does that suit you or how about Saturday? Instead of sending me the postage over how about we barter? I would love some dish cloths if you can knit or sew them."
This, my friends, is the most beautiful affirmation of why I live as I do. This simple bartering of goods needed for each of our simple lives, the reaching out to our (long distance) neighbours to help fulfill a need and in turn to be helped, this is what I want my life to be. I want these acts of kindness, generosity and support to be well and truly a part of my days. But balance always steps in. The symmetry of life only allows a slender and humble number of these wonderful days so that when they come along I recognise them for their true and genuine worth and don't take the profundity of simplicity for granted.
I will really enjoy knitting dishcoths and sewing an apron for my unseen and distant friend. The days I make them will be diamond days, as will the days the chicks hatch. I'm not sure if Helen reads my blog, but if she does, thank you, Helen.
The eggs arrive on Saturday. : )