Sun on the Hen House
I live in a pretty little house at the foot of the White Mountains in Northern New Hampshire. The backdrop of which provides boundless inspiration. I have an ever expanding garden I tend to and a small flock of chickens. We are only allowed 6 hens in town per household. I have 3, I had four until this winter. I call my little flock “the girls”…”the ladies” ..””my hens.” I love them all.
The girls have literally been cooped up for the past few weeks. The bitter cold, the non stop polar winds.. it was too much. Just before the new year I lost Euphemia. She was a frail hen to begin with, one eyed and lacking in neck feathers… the odds were against her. Mille Fleur Bantams are not known for their hardiness; they are known for their feathery feet and bright disposition.
I may be a little like my hens. Winter has been tough on me too. But the sun is out and the temperatures are up and we are all out to play today.
Rest In Peace Euphemia… you were a good hen. May your eternal coop be warm and your feed dish full of meal worms.
Luka knows where we’re going before I even get in the car. She sees me grab my bathing suit and the whining starts. I can hardly blame her. Durand Lake in Randolph is her paradise…a nice loop trail, long grass, a lake. What more could you want? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Whenever I share that I’m a spinner (In the spinning wheel sense, not the exercise bike sense)…I always end up saying, “Gandhi was a spinner.” I’m not sure what people think when I tell them this. I am not comparing myself to Gandhi when I say it, rather I want to share with them the rewards of spinning. Gandhi felt that spinning represented the best of living simply. I think spinning is a meditation.
I once read that spinners of olde would pray for and think about those who they were spinning for. In the wool they would add stories, wishes, and blessing for their loved ones. These stories and prayers would be continued as the spinner then knit the yarn they had just made. Those who received their handiwork received not only the garment; they received the thoughts and love of the spinner.
I have pulled out my spinning wheel this week.
my louet spinning wheel
Usually I reserve spinning for the cooler months. Lately I have felt restless and spinning offers me a retreat. My feet pedal back in forth in a rhythm the wheel seems to give me. The mound of fleece transforms into a tiny thread. It’s magical and quiet. When I spin I think of little else; and when my mind drifts I remind myself to keep my thoughts benevolent. My yarn will carry my emotions and one day someone will wear them. I want to spin peace.
The best advice I’ve ever heard about cooking was to never cook angry. Food from an angry chef never tastes good. It’s true. Conversely, food made with love tastes incredibly good. Once I made a dish of barley and beans (it was all I had on the shelves) As I cooked, I remember thinking about how much I loved my children. When I served my kids the simple fare they couldn’t get enough of it..they said it was the best thing ever. One should spin with just as much feeling. Yarn made with love is undeniably remarkable.
Tonight I will spin some more. I have a 100 other things I could and maybe should be doing, but creating a little beauty seems just as important right now.
I have too much stuff.
I have said this before. In fact I have said this for too long. I have finally decided to be committed to doing something about it. I just finished watching “Long Way Round” the movie documenting Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s motorcycle trip around the world. Their journey rekindled my desire to live more authentically. A piece of that means living with less…less physical stuff.
I spend a great deal of my time, taking care of my things. I have dishes filling my dishwasher right now, which seems impossible as my kitchen is packed with more dishes. I have mounds of dirty laundry to wash; and yet a closet full of clothes I never seems to wear. I have book shelves of books I was going to read ‘one day.’ I have boxes of momentos saved for reasons and sentimentalities I cannot explain. I’m embarrassed about the quantity of yarn I have and exercise clothes. When is the last time I even exercised? And why does a woman in Portland, Oregon need more than one swimsuit, really?
I decided to follow Jamie Lee Curtis and limit my wardrobe. She apparently wears only black and white. I could live with that. Chris, my boyfriend, loves me in black. In fact he has said I rock black. And the truth is, I find myself wearing the same outfits over and over again. A lot of them are black. I once posted a blog about an artist who wore the same dress every day for year, she mixed it up a bit with scarves and tights, but it was the same dress. I can do anything for a year.
Today is the day…lots of moving and packing up stuff. Today is day one of clearing away the excess. I’m giving myself one week to purge. And then I will begin my year long experiment of living with less.
Chris, just opened the fridge, and by the smell of it, I will begin the cleansing there.