Peace can be found in a lot of places. For as long as I can remember, I have found peace in nature. There is a small river that runs through our back yard and on quiet evenings, I can walk down to the water and watch the currents and babbles flow over rocks and forgotten timber long submerged. That is one place I find serenity. The other place that has always calmed me is the pasture at my parent’s farm. On a warm summer evening, I could watch the cows meander and munch on the grasses and clovers until dark. At dark, I would walk back to the farm by the light of the moon and the subtle tune of crickets. Lately, the places I have found serenity have started to waiver from the stereotypical creek bend or cow pasture.
Brittni and I are truly blessed with the gift of our little girl. Most of the time, Georgia is the sweetest thing we ever asked for. Other times, she can be a holy terror. These sudden mood swings usually arise when it is time to take a nap. (I understand where she is coming from. She has a lot of smiling and giggling to do and an unscheduled nap is going to throw off her entire schedule. She has a bottle at eight that she can’t miss and who knows how long her appointment at the changing table is going to take.) I assume that she gets her smile and positive attitude from her mother and the occasional, unbearable irritability from me. At that, Brittni and I still work hard to reinforce the habit of napping in the crib for at least an hour between meals. This does not go well every time. It usually results in her falling asleep in one of our arms and the inability to set her down, take a leak, or move in general for the next 60 minutes. On the rare occasion that she does remain sleeping when placed in the crib, Brittni and I celebrate. By celebrate, I mean we sit in the living room in silence while staring at the baby monitor hoping we don’t hear any blood-curdling screams come through the tiny speaker. At the slightest movement, we turn and look at one another in what may be the most motionless game of “Nose-Goes” that nobody has ever seen. Amidst the tension of a deep breath, a cough, or the slightest squeak, this is a peaceful time for me. It is not peaceful in the sense that I can sit and quietly read that romantic novel I have been meaning to get finished. It is peaceful because I can do the dishes, cook dinner, fold laundry, or complete any of the other four million tasks around the house that need to be completed without having to feel like I am ignoring the newest addition to the love-of-my-life collection. If I try doing these tasks while she is awake, I do them in a poorly choreographed dance of baby giggles, pots of water boiling over, and forgetting to add soap to the dishwasher before running it. Peace is knowing everything is done correctly and the baby isn’t any wiser of my time not spent with her.
With the recent construction of a new chicken coop and run for my hens, comes a new mesmerizing distraction. Although I have had chickens since this spring, I never got to watch them in a comfortable and open environment where they could wander aimlessly in search of who-knows-what to peck. Upon opening the door to let the ladies out every morning, I wait in silent anticipation to see my hens hop down the ramp to the light and sandy soil where they spend their days. Hop, Step, Peck. Hop, Step, Peck. It is amazing how the rest of the world fades away as I watch them brush by one another in what seems like a silent film. Hop, Step, Peck. Hop, Step, Peck. The other morning, I let the hens out 5 minutes before I needed to leave for work and ended up arriving 10 minutes late as I was taken by subtle movements and fluttering feathers. Although I find peace in it, watching chickens for relaxation seems equal in insanity to taking a yoga class with a goat on your back (Yes, Goat Yoga exists and people pay money for it!)
I have always enjoyed working in the yard. Many of my hours during the non-winter months are spent removing trees and brush, reseeding grass, and most of all, mowing the lawn. Mowing is one of those monotonous chores that I always did, but felt that the time was wasted. Within a week of mowing, the grass will have regrown and the process is started all over again. I tried making the experience more enjoyable by listening to podcasts on my phone, but my earbuds would always fall out of my ears and the volume I needed to listen to overcome 3000 revolutions per minute of a small diesel engine was absurd. Eventually, I became fed up and started looking for a better listening alternative. I ended up finding some BlueTooth earbuds that are OSHA certified, eliminate noise, and can play 10 hours of audio on a charge. These changed the lawn mowing game for me. What was loud and time-consuming is now peacefully spent catching up on new episodes of my favorite podcasts. This just goes to show that peace and quiet don’t always go hand-in-hand.
As life changes, so do the ways we find peace in it. Something as unheard of as watching chickens wander their run can make a stressful morning easier to get through. Things that seem loud and overbearing can be changed and the serenity of any situation can be seen more clearly the farther back one steps. So take a step back and look at a situation from a different perspective. Maybe if you do, you too can find peace in an unconventional place. In the meantime, I am going to start researching the feasibility of chicken yoga. You would be surprised what people will pay to find some peace of their own.
If you are interested in checking out the noise-canceling earbuds I use while mowing the lawn, you can find them on my Amazon store here ->->-> ISOtunes PRO Bluetooth Earplug Headphones As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.