What is the meaning of life?

Loaded question, I know. One that has been pondered upon, written about, studied in art and discussed for centuries by ones such as Plato, Aristotle, Gauguin, my Keene State College Business Ethics professor What’s-His-Name, religious devotees, Monty Python…oh, and me.

I don’t profess to think about it very much. I’m too busy thinking about paying mortgage, the price of good quality balsamic vinegar (because it would be a crime to use the cheap stuff on a Caprese Salad) and making it home safely from my commute. (Why don’t people yield anymore? There used to be YIELD signs on the on-ramps and I don’t see them now. Please, for the love of all that is holy, put your phone down and turn your ass around to see if there is ALREADY A CAR in the lane as you’re merging on to the highway. When you are picking up speed to get where you’re going, if you looked, you would see that I AM ALREADY THERE and do not feel it is safe to slam on my brakes to let your phone-talking-so-too-lazy-to-look-to-see-if-it-is-safe ass get in front of me. I can’t move to the left because there is a car there, so you’re forcing me to speed up and since I have my cruise control set at 71 mph which is a nice speed to get me where I’m going, make me feel like I’m hurrying, but still allow me to get passed by the cops instead of pulled over, I am now having to hit 80/85 mph in order to get out of your way. AND I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT, OK?!)

I was outside weeding on Memorial Day weekend (thank you for your service to all in active duty and all veterans and their families), the chickens were outside for their first days out of their basement brooder box. I watched them pick up their feet and walk funny as they experienced the new sensation of wet grass. I sat back and lost my concentration on chickweed (invasive stuff!) as I spied some of the chickens rounding a corner, leaving one behind. She picked up her head after just a few moments and didn’t see her sisters and brother. And started to cheep (chirp? Wasn’t quite a cluck. I’ll stick with cheep.) Loudly. Panicked. She’s been with her flock since minutes after she was born. And while looking down, hunting for food, she lost sight of them. Now she was alone, and didn’t like it.

Which got me to thinking. I left my job after 14 years and went to another company, to do the same job. I wanted to plant unique plants this year and try something new. I didn’t and only planted veggies that we know we like. Am I avoiding MY wet grass, that uncomfortable feeling of something foreign and outside my comfort zone? Do I have my head down, just trying to pay the bills, continuing to peck in the same place, hoping a bug will somehow magically appear? As I wrap my head around the fact that I have another surgery (my third in 2 years – this one will have me recovering at home for 6 weeks) I ask, “What is the meaning of MY life?” Friends and family are offering to come stay with us to help which warms my heart. Keith keeps telling me we should enjoy life now, not ONLY focus on saving for later. My new boss, responding to the news that, after 5 months of getting me ramped up, would now only have 1 week to prepare for my absence before I was gone for a month and 1/2, said something similar. We work to pay for life. Life is important.

My little lonely chicken (no name, I can’t tell her apart from the other yellow ones), must have heard a noise from her family because she basically flew-hopped around the corner and barreled into the others as if they were bowling pins. Then she proceeded to put her head down in the wet grass and hunt for bugs in this new spot. This made me smile then and it makes me smile as I think about it again now and realize that I am CONTENT. And that maybe THAT, gentle readers, is the answer to my question.

Worth watching…