Ferreira Farm Diaries – Jan 18, 2014, Sunday
Going down the mountain as I left the farm after a few hours of afternoon work, I was drawn to the developing sunset. I decided to pull over on the side of the road to breathe it in and consider this afternoon’s events.
Most impactful on me was the discovery of a dead chicken in the coop. It had apparently been attacked a few nights ago (most likely by a coyote by reaching its paws through the fencing). While it had initially survived, the other birds in the coop had beaten it up more and finished it off. I don’t know if they did it for food, cruelty, or both.
Sifu Martin Ferreira (my friend/mentor/teacher whose farm I get to work/play at for trade) explained that we humans are similarly suited animals in how we can attack others for our own personal gain. But we do have a choice to be more aware and mindful than those chickens did.
As I was saddened at having seen a large, dead animal, our conversation made me think how we sometimes don’t consider life which are tiny or are a nuisance, like a bug or an insect. Sifu mentioned this is why the Buddhists say a prayer every night for all the life they many have unintentionally harmed.
So as I breathed in this beautiful sunset, I prayed for that chicken (who was left out of the coop that night to feed whoever wanted it so its body continued to have purpose.) I also considered the tiny caterpillar I discovered earlier whose green, unmoving body was probably damaged from my weeding. I thought of the tiny, white spider who slowly scurried away from where I had just moved some crunchy, grape leaves on the ground. I gave thanks for the sun earlier in the day and for the new life in the one hundred baby chard plants I noticed during my walk-about.
I am grateful for all there is, all that has been, and all that will be.
Note: This chard plant had been left where it is for months with no watering, only what the skies brought it and what it could get from the ground. Yet, despite its stressed conditions, it thrived and created new life.