I need to start off by saying that I don’t have all the answers. Climate change is big and scary and wreaking havoc on our planet, and I am just one person.
But what I have learned over the past few years is that it is critical to just get started. Start anywhere. Start on any step that you are motivated to take. But start.
My journey began with just three chickens. Three old hens that came into my life while I was in the emotional upheaval and grief of having lost my mother.
Those three birds (Mamma, Orchid and Red) gave my daughter and I something to focus on together. We shared the excitement of collecting our first eggs, and watching our hens settle into their new home. And we marveled at the joy of fresh eggs for breakfast! We also talked about how Grandma would have loved this! We told stories about her. We laughed and cried and moved forward together, the chickens bridging a gap for us and melting away the barriers that grief had thrown up between us.
That first small step has led me to much bigger things.
My flock routinely numbers over 80 birds (I know right?), with a dozen breeding roosters on hand while I figure out how to enhance the egg and meat qualities of the breeds I am working with through selective breeding.
Just three chickens transformed my focus from my own busy life to issues of food security, waste, ecological restoration and personal development. I found the time and energy to take on new things (fueled by all those eggs for breakfast!). I have researched and learned a great deal. I have built new skills (which by necessity of having so many chickens included having to build things all by myself, from pens and nest boxes to mobile chicken houses and electric fencing setups).
And you can too.
No – I don’t mean having 80+ chickens!?! – unless that is something you also aspire to.
But you can find the right steps for your own life that can support a better planet, a better society, and a better relationship with nature. You can become another role model in a world swimming in uncertainty.
It’s the uncertainty that is a killer. I’m often worried. I seem to worry about everything all the time. Nowadays we call it anxiety, but at it’s core is an incessant concern that things are going to unravel and soon. It’s hard not to be like Chicken Little and scream that the sky is falling. . . . Because it is.
The signs are everywhere around us. We are reading the climate change story and already suspect this is not going to end well. Then the hand-wringing begins in earnest.
But together, we can change that. Just like in the Chicken Little story, panic will get us nowhere. We need to find solutions, and solutions are what let me sleep at night. The last chapter of the climate change story isn’t written yet. There is still time to act right now. And there is time to shift our focus from the scary climate change disaster ending and redirect it into the story of great transformation and redemption.
At Three Chickens Strong I will work to bring together the research and personal experiences I’ve had trying to re-imagine my life transformed. Join me on a new journey to a better place.
Everyday actions matter. Your transformation awaits you. The place to start is where you are right now. The first step can be large or small, but the point is to take it. . . . today.
Sue Ecologist, Mother, Farmer, Writer