As the sun slowly faded behind its curtain of trees and power lines, I dragged the nasty old thing up the hill, frightening some chickens as I did so. We let them out in the evening when the weather is nice, which they love. But we also have three that are in permanent exile for the heinous crime of eating their own eggs. Their new home is the Tiny Abandoned Patch of Corn, an adequately shaded enclosure safe from predators.
They needed shelter though, as it had been raining a lot recently, and that is why I had brought them the old crate we retrieved from its spot in the woods. It was made for a dog I think, but it works quite well for three chickens to sleep in.
“Now, what this is is nothing to be afraid of,” I told them as they fled from my approach. “What this is is a place of hope, a chicken paradise. It is a place where dreams come true. It is what every chicken dreams of having. It is beyond all description, and it is certainly not something to run away from.”
I chuckled inwardly at my own exaggeration. But then I realized, I rather had stumbled upon an interesting point there.
You see, it really was disgusting when we dug it out from where it had sat, full of mud and standing water. But it was still a crate, and it was still useful. Despite its appearance, it had value. All it needed was a bit of cleaning up and some straw to become something that the chickens would appreciate, if they were capable of such feeling.
And yes, it was covered in mud. It was dirty. But what is dirt? Is it beautiful? Absolutely, if you think about it, dirt gives most plants the ability to grow, to stretch their roots and expand. I mean, no flowers, no vegetables or grain; where in the world would we be without dirt?
It’s an analogy folks, and I love analogies. “Not everything that glitters is gold,” goes the old and well-known saying. But not everything that’s dirty is worthless. There’s a lot of dirt in this world. If it were the case that all that dirt rendered us worthless, we might as well just call it a day and throw in the towel. But we don’t. We keep on keeping on, and laughing, and loving. And if you look for them, miracles happen in the most imperfect places.
It’s food for thought.