Peace, Love and Chickens

By Holly Giles | Family

teenagers are like chickens

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My niece is the oldest, and the only girl out of the five grandchildren, unless you count the chickens.  So, most of the time,  our activities revolve around boys.  She is a good sport about it, and when she has had enough, she retreats to her dark lair with her computer.
As teenagers go, she loves her computer, dark spaces and strange tv shows that I don’t understand. She is interested in theoretical math and physics.  I am clueless about any of that, so I try to look for things we can enjoy together. Cooking is one and chickens are another.
violet the backyard chicken

As her Aunt, I feel it my duty to impart a little life wisdom when we are together.   I remember when I was 17.  I knew it all, and adults didn’t know anything!

In recent months, we have found a common ground to talk about life in a safe, peaceful environment. No pressure or direct eye contact. I call it the chicken channel. It is best viewed in the evening while sitting in the swing out back. It has a calming effect. That is where I go after a stressful day.
chickens pecking around the backyard

So, as we swing, we share our thoughts on life.  I have told her that life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan sometimes, and that’s alright. Sometimes you end up in a life you never dreamed for yourself, and it’s pretty good.
She accepts my theories quietly, with an eye roll or two, as she contemplates why the hens just peck at the ground all day, but seem so happy?

The hens are givers of unconditional love, and they are content to be, well hens. Except for the occasional peck on the toes when they think your polish is a grape. Their presence somehow is trance-like. They lull you into quiet peacefulness and all your troubles fall away, for a short while.

Sharing my love and hopes for my niece, in a quiet way, allows her to accept it on her own terms.  Whether she really believes her crazy Aunt with chickens, maybe another story.

checking the coop for eggs

As she heads into adulthood with so much before her, I hope all her dreams do come true.  I will always cherish our times together sharing a peaceful evening, love for each other, and the chickens.

anissa holding an egg



About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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