Chicken Little's Sky

When a season’s end pushes itself into my head, like right now, with the close-out sales on grass seed and the disappearance of Sam Adam’s orange-flavored beers, I make an appointment with Chicken Little. 

He's onto something: The sky really is falling. The apples need picking; the wisteria, a mending; the boxwoods, a clipping; the garlic, a planting; the carrot bed, a thinning; and the tomatoes!, a late-blight prevention.

Indoors, the milk has expired and I’m out of coffee filters. Cluck, I thought I kept a spare box behind the mishmash of mugs.

Birds of a Feather

We have it on good academic findings that we approach life in one of two ways. We either maximize or we enjoy. The people who try to get every bit of whatever out of whatever they're doing (the Maximizers) end up much less happy in life than those who enjoy life as good enough. 

We, Maximizers, feather ourselves as perfectionists, idealists, economists and overachievers. It's fashionably flattering, but our flapping and quacking makes for chicken-suit disappointment. We're just too busy and worried about getting on with matters than to enjoy much. Ironically, this is how the sky will fall. So, let's be sense-able.

Just Say Ciao to the Chicken

When the sky is falling, tune into your five senses, literally. Take life in: What do you smell? Hear? Taste?…

Just know that Chicken Little is going to feel dissed; he prefers it when you're all up in your head. But, you're more than just a head on top of two shoulders. So, say "Ciao, chicken, ciao." Of course, like most secrets to life, this is easier said than done.

In my orchard, I try giving it a go: I hear the quiet thunk of apples dropping. I inhale, and my nose drinks up an aromatic cocktail of sharp cider. It's spiked with the tang of the nearby over-ripe tomatoes, the ones gone unpicked beneath their oversized leaves. A result of my compost being too nitrogen-rich, with too much manure. (Should've known better.) And just like that, I'm back in my head with Chicken Little. 

I try to return to my senses. (How hard can it be?) Muttering "Ciao, chicken, ciao," I close my eyes, lift my chin, and inhale another whiff of cider-rich tomato. Okay, not bad, but I'm still contemplating compost and coffee filters. (Hush, Tipsy, you can do this.) 

Then, zahoom! 

A hummingbird flits within inches of my cap. What a sound! Like none before. My eyes catch it's wee landing atop the pink petal of a zinnia. It bobs there, delicately unafraid of me. Such shy but mighty iridescent splendor!

Is the sky falling? I don't know; I've forgotten. But, if it is, my sense is to stick with the hummingbird.

Post Note: More Ways to Say Ciao, Chicken, Ciao