Blackberry Mountain
There was a point this summer when we were bringing in about eight eggs a day.  With nearly 5 dozen eggs a week we could cook eggs for a meal on several occasions, I was able to do lots of baking, we fed the dogs some every now and then (they love them), and gave a dozen to friends and family when there were enough.  All those eggs spoiled me and now its wintertime and the temperature has been very low which means that the chickens are using a lot of their energy to stay warm.  On top of that we’ve had a fat rat eating our feed so we’ve been changing our feeding times and the chickens have been working harder while free ranging—all that being said, they stopped laying.  A few began molting, a phase in which they lose feathers and grow a new coat and rest from laying before starting a new cycle, but the rest stopped—just in time for holiday cooking, too.  So as soon as I began to take the eggs for granted—I was forced to go without.  I tried to find someone else with chickens so that I could have farm fresh eggs for cooking but others were in similar situations.  I did finally give in and purchase eggs from the grocery store but I realized that as the seasons shift things are not so readily available.  There are cycles that we choose to ignore as we mass produce our chickens and eggs and vegetables even.  You can’t really get a tomato around here in the winter but we get people to ship them to us so that we don’t have to go without.  We have the stores full of the things that aren’t available elsewhere and so we don’t have to scavenge like the chickens do when we take their feed.  If we did, we might realize God has blessed us with an abundance of plants and animals. 

                As the days passed we got two eggs every day or so from two loyal birds.  We learned to check a tree stump for eggs daily because one bird prefers that spot to the coup.  On New Years morning, after a month long lesson on patience, I checked the coup and stump and found four eggs and a couple more later that day.  I got a little giddy when I saw the eggs.  For our New Years dinner we ate them cooked over a fire with some farm fresh bacon and sausage our parents brought us.  YUM!  Jeremy is a great breakfast cook and a better fire starter so he put the two together in our fire place using a couple cast iron pans making our eggs well worth the wait.  The chickens taught me a couple lessons this time:  I am learning more about the cycles of nature and how to understand and respect them and that if we work for it we will be provided for but more often than not patience is required.