Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Kitchen Island

While I've never been very proficient in the kitchen, it has come to be the heart of my home. It took living on a farm with a couple of friends to open my eyes. They had an open kitchen with the sink and stove along one side and the fridge and pantry on the other, all surrounding an island, a simple counter with storage underneath. Pretty much everything we did started in the kitchen at that island.

Gathering up feed and treats for the outdoor crew (chickens, ducks, guinea, a turkey, and rabbits), doling out food to the indoor animals (cats, dogs, and one guinea), and coffee and toast for the humans happened at sun up. Okay, so I wasn't part of the sun up crew. My day began at about 10 am. I am so NOT a morning person. But the toast was there along with a cup of tea. I also am not a coffee person. We'd all go about the rest of the day either going to work or staying home to work, but were always back at the island for meals and conversation, no matter how late the day ended. And it was through those nights of tea, toast, and talk that I learned more about living a life with nature, seeing the beauty in the simple things. I planted my first (and only) batch of strawberries and watched them grow. Of course, the chickens ate them, along with the blackberries. Before, I was admired nature from afar, through the photos and experiences of others.

I've always lived in a city, so that much nature was quite an experience, an in your face lesson about the seasons and cycles of life. I found out the chickens really don't like to be picked up, but tolerate it when it's cold outside and I can share my warmth. They are very soft. And strong! Oh, and roosters can be mean bastards who bite and claw.

I got to experience the birth of new farm animals. Baby ducks are adorable following their mom around everywhere. I also learned the hard way not to get too attached to the critters that lived outside. They sometimes didn't survive past a few days. One particular incident involved a duckling who'd gotten into the wading pool with no way of getting out on its own. When we found it, it was still alive. I held it for a while, trying to warm it up enough to be okay under a heat lamp. But when I got home from work, it had passed away. Other times they lived long enough to be a snack for the coyotes and owls, who lost their homes to the "progress" of fracking and new construction.

My roomies gave me a greater appreciation for power of nature. They also taught me that power can be borrowed. Since we live in a state prone to tornadoes and severe storms, the property was protected by placing knives at the corners. We could watch the radar and see the more serious storms split around the area. Every time. It was done well enough that we'd still get the rain, but danger passed us by. It was amazing and awe inspiring to see a spell so simple work that well.

So, even though my new place doesn't have that island, the kitchen is still where the magick comes together, through food and friends. It is the heart of my home.