Possibility–Maddy Phenicie

Posted on January 17, 2012

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When I was maybe 8 years old, my family decided to get chickens. It was a big deal for all of us. We had to do research, build a coop, find the chicks, raise them up, release them anxiously into the big world, and wait. We waited for what felt like ages until finally, one day, a day that seemed much like any other, we got our first egg!

Our new, homegrown eggs were like precious jewels, nestled into their carton in the fridge. Some were the terra cotta brown of store bought eggs, while others were a pale almost imperceptible green. I remember running my fingers over our first six-pack, touching each one gently and admiringly. I wondered what they would become. Would they be scrambled and eaten as a hasty breakfast, or fried and added to toast, or put into cookies? The possibilities were endless. . . It seemed like one little egg contained entire worlds of possibility.

One day, I was lucky enough to catch one of our hens surreptitiously finding a tucked away corner to huddle in as she delivered her daily present for me. I quietly snuck over and, standing maybe ten feet away, proceeded to watch in awe as she cooed and clicked her way through the elemental process. Much like a mother nursing, she hunkered down into some meditative state so she could focus solely on her task. Her rear facing me, I saw the egg, in glorious detail, slowly emerge from the safety of the hen and drop a frightening height of perhaps eight inches onto the slated panels of the wooden deck. Literally shaking herself out of her silent reverie, the hen got up and, eyeing me, loudly proclaimed the arrival of her gift not knowing that rather than creating a small chicken she instead had given me a source of sustenance. As she strutted away, I approached the egg and reached out for it. The shell was still soft, as if some mould that was still setting. And it was incredibly warm, a silent testament to its recent residence inside its host-mother. I had never seen anything so magical.

I held the egg nestled in the palm of my hand, fingers gently clutched around it as if it was some source of reassurance, until the heat faded completely. Ever since my stint as silent spectator to this private event, every egg is that much more complete, that much more holy. Placing the egg amongst the others in their cold, sterile, cardboard protectors, I touch them even more reverentially remembering that each one was delivered to me through this silent, sacred ritual of birth.

Check out Maddy’s other posts at: http://maddyphenicie.wordpress.com/

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