Monday, 6 August 2012

The reasons for things.

 I hope you don't mind me sharing this photo. And I'm sorry if it disturbs you. But today I needed it. I needed to express the smacking reality of death and of new life.

Our chickens were attacked last night. It was the second attack in a week. The first killed two, the second, five.  I grieved after the first, mostly because our little favourite, the bottom of the pecking order, was killed. And we hid the rest at night in our bench seats on our back deck to protect them while we discussed how we would find the money and the time to build a fox-proof pen for them. And then, while I was away on the weekend, Tim wondered if the danger had passed and tried them back in the yard. I resented the timing of it all, with Tim starting his first lecturing position at the uni and me getting ready for the craft markets. Another thing to think about. Why now?

It had been the plan for a while to build something new. Our elderly neighbours over the back fence had come around and complained about the noise. It was so important to us, in principle, to express that their (our neighbours') care and comfort was a higher priority to us than the ease of having the chooks up the back in a big open pen. We planned to give it a weekend, but those fly by without notice.And each time I went to check for eggs or replace their water, I felt a tinge of guilt that it had been neglected.

When Tim and I got married and had a family, it was really important to us to live a life with time. I've explained before that we are part of an urban community that holds to the values of simplicity, integrity, community. Part of our commitment to this lifestyle includes working part time to allow a high priority on relationships, a real connectedness.

Death here has hit me, not just for the loss of their life and beauty roaming our yard, but because of the striking reminder of our failing, to them as carers, to our neighbours, to ourselves. For a while there, in our busyness, it feels like we disconnected ourselves from the real stuff of life. In all our busyness, we didn't not stop making time for Facebook or TV or shopping online...

As I kept clicking my camera around the yard, a way of finding beauty in the grief, a way of allowing myself to stop, I remembered this is why I started blogging. You can read my very first post here. I wanted to train my eye to see beauty all around me, in spite of the disenfranchisement (that's how I felt, anyway) of new motherhood. How easily this space becomes a place for me to try to win new friends and impress people. Death can be a beautiful, if horrible, reminder of the reasons for things.

And while I feel their loss deeply, there is still life here to make time for. One lone escapee outside...

And a very helpful boy in.


  1. That is so awful for that to have happened. I hope you find a solution x

  2. I feel your pain.
    We recently had a raccoon attack and they killed half of my juvenile Silkies. I was raising these chicks to add to my breeding and showing pens. I thought my chicken runs were rather secure, but apparently not.
    I hope this does not make you give up on chickens.

  3. Oh Jodi, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your loan survivor stays safe & can have a new night house & friends again soon.

  4. Oh Jodi, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your loan survivor stays safe & can have a new night house & friends again soon.

  5. Oh sweetheart I'm so sorry to hear this has happened. Be gentle with yourself while you're feeling down x

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your chicken, Jodi. Don't be too hard on yourself though. We've had several fox attacks too - even though we keep our hens in a (very large) run with wire buried three deep and six feet high. It drives me mad when people feed foxes and encourage them. I'm glad you've got your little escapee. I hope you find her some friends and make them a safe run soon. I'd really recommend a run with wire going over the top if you can manage it.

    Your urban community sounds great, btw, and I love the way you look out for the beauty in things :)

  7. I'm so sorry to hear of that, Jodi. We lost our first batch of ducks in a matter of days after having them safely for months and months. It was shocking and we didn't have time/make time to fix it in time. This year we just got ducks again and they're living in improved safety. I hope things work out better! I'll hope the same for you!

  8. So sorry. I'm glad that you can still see the beauty of life even through this.

  9. Oh, I'm so sorry and your little boy looks so sad as well. You go take care of the escapee!


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx