Grandma Deer always has lot of fun sayings --and some of them make sense. Some, not so much until you sit and listen to the storyline that created the family sayings, like "whatever floats your pumpkin." Today's post will be about chickens.
No we don't plan to get any.
We only have a LOT of rabbits and five goats and Dad REALLY isn't interested in adding any winged friends. Ha.
I've always wondered why people ask "are you chicken?" when asking if someone is afraid. My experience has been that chickens are silly.
Since posting about potentially needing to move farms, several people have asked if I'm afraid. Afraid of losing the farm we call Peacebunny Cottage. Fear? No. Healthy concern? Absolutely. Is moving a real possibility? Yes. Would we need to move immediately? Thankfully No. Do we have options? There are always options. (We've constantly needed to keep an eye out because until we own a farm then we're always needing to keep aware of a potential next move). Would I be happy about moving? No.
Can I find reasons to be joyful during uncertainty or even an answer I don't like? YES.
Happy is about what you feel during great times. Joyfulness is built on a solid foundation of gratitude and hope and it flows out of you if it's stored up.
For those who are familiar with our family's journey, you'll know that this bunny venture has always included an undercurrent of uncertainty and opportunity. That has provided so many more good outcomes than bad. And some AMAZINGLY wonderful outcomes that being on still and calm waters would have never allowed. There are times with waves of stress and rush, then just enough calm to let us regroup. Sometimes forecasts of storms, sometimes tsunami predictions (but we've never seen one). We've also had huge waves of opportunity to ride -- so much energy that propelled us forward that sitting on a calm lake could not have delivered. I love the rush too! Constant calm wouldn't allow us to be as effective. Sometimes there are a lot of volunteers working together like a perfectly timed team on the river -- stroke, stroke, stroke. Other times we've huddled together to avoid the lightning. Other times it felt like there were just a few of us chickens, running around getting stuff done. Other times just silliness. Like chickens playing the recorder. But fear? No.
It is about perspective. We spend so much time with people that we are going through hard times -- grieving the recent death of a child, extreme hardship, loss of all their possessions and family photos. Death of a beloved pet. Precarious health. Surviving violence. Loss of limbs. Severe pain. Separation. Deep loneliness. Slowly watching a child suffer with the hope of healing. Extreme loss. So even just thinking of the friends we've met along this journey wakes up my gratitude. Grants a more healthy perspective. Even if I feel this compelled to serve, that's nothing compared to how much God cares about the people we've met or cares about the animals in our program. I'm just their guardian. So if I care this much, I can't even wrap my mind around how much more God does. That means we're right where we should be and there's no place safer.
We've learned to dream big, then plan for options A to F, while keeping an eye open for options later in the alphabet in case the first ones don't work. Our business is small enough to change directions pretty quickly for events and large enough to mobilize resources in a timely way: that's why we can respond to disasters or times of violence/trauma and grief within a few hours. We have traveled nationally within 24 hours and somehow all the logistics just come together or doors are shut.
Perhaps these years have been more about shaping my outlook, my expectations. I've grown "sea legs" to better handle my fears. What's the worst that can happen? What the best that could happen? My stomach is more settled and I'm not feeling so tossed by the waves and less concerned about a little water spilling over the deck. I've learned how to stand up and brace for the tipping.
So am I afraid during the looming possibility of the Cottage being sold for development? No.
And I don't think that chickens should get such a bad rap. I think silliness more than fear.
If the farm gets sold, the barn torn down and houses built on the pasture, yes, I'd be truly very sad that the community is losing one of the last historic farms. You never "undevelop" an area. Once the land is gone it's gone.
And of course I'd be disappointed about needing to relocate further away, more driving... The idea of packing up isn't a great one either. But guess what we've moved before and it's always been what we needed at the time.
Here's the thing I've found over this journey: When you trust that these are God's bunnies, that God's in charge..then you begin to trust that even if a storm or a big wave comes, that we're going to be fine. My experience has taught me to trust. It hasn't been an easy lesson. Patience is even harder than trust. But I've seen how God has provided and protected, over and over and over.
I wish I could share a miraculous story about how we were able to save the farm this week...or at least share some glorious update for you all. Nope. However, the farm owners didn't choose to sell to the developer on July 1. So there's that. Many volunteers have shared their concern for the rabbits and some of those who follow us on social media have written in and shared actual fear about our program folding; yet while I am so touched that people are emotionally invested too, I just want to give a word of calm. It's going to be ok. My experience has taught me that over and over. My family has made a commitment --and somehow it all works itself out.
So we can sit in the boat and rest while we wait to find out IF a storm is coming, not moving. Or we just keep paddling and doing our thing with a cautious eye on the forecast. Alrighty. Pick the second option. Here's what we've been doing: 8 Elementary schools for summer programs last week.
Preparing to add 20 senior homes into our formal, ongoing schedule.
Finalizing the paperwork for a scientific review board for our research project on the quantitative outcomes of our sessions with medical providers, advancing from just "comfort rabbit visits" to formal "therapy rabbit" sessions.
Gooshing love as we watch a litter of baby rabbits grow and we are excited about training more rabbits on the island this summer.
Training more volunteers
Sharing lots of bunny time! Prepping to assist with a mass rescue is on the horizon...
Who's in the boat? No one here but us chickens.
But rather than freaking out, we're busy playing the recorder and dancing instead. (You gotta click that link!! HA) And the best of all is that I get to be called a BUNNY GUARDIAN and not a CHICKEN TENDER.
Glad you're with us -- even before everything is all perfect and wrapped up in a bow. Those are real friends. I'm excited to see what's next and trying to be patient amid the uncertainty.
I'm VERY excited about our programs that are ramping up to be even better than before COVID. The last year+ has simply amplified the need for connection. We're uniquely positioned to really make a difference and
Appreciate your support, notes of encouragement and prayers. Super fun getting the mail!! Thanks for being our friends, loving bunnies, telling your friends about us, and doing what you're doing to make the world better and more kind.
Wishing you a hoppy day!!