Today is Saturday, the day I complete my top-to-bottom weekly cleaning of the chicken coop. Oh yay! There is much to love about homesteading, but cleanin’ out the coop ain’t one of ’em. In brief, it includes hauling all the used mulch and straw to the compost heap then washing out the sleeping quarters, spreading out clean bedding then remulching the coop and the run. You get dirty and stinky, and in the summer it is hot, sweaty, and buggy. I know, right?!
But in the past few weeks, I have discovered that this activity has afforded me a personal benefit–cleanin’ out the muck. My muck, that is.
One thing I’ve learned about this chore–it takes little brain power. Lots of time, but little brain power. And that’s where the gift presents itself. Because I am not distracted by the impending to-do list or the pinging of email or the ringing of a phone, my mind gives way to my soul. I am opened up to just work through my own muck.
And, believe me, you can’t escape the muck when cleanin’ out the coop.
For me, the muck is not comprised of serious issues that long for intentional prayer, meditation or soul work. The muck is the stuff I sit around and process too much or give too much attention to when it really needs to be let go. The muck is the stuff that irritates and frustrates and, in the end, takes more time and energy than it should.
Needless to say, cleanin’ out the coop seems like the perfect place to work through that kind of stuff.
So Saturday has become my day to work on all those feelings and issues and I’ve been wrestling with during the week, throw them in the wheelbarrow, and carry them over to the compost bin. And I must say, it’s pretty satisfying to know it resides in that heap with all of the other “stuff.”
Yeah, cleanin’ out the coop is not my favorite chore by any means, but it has its value–not only for my farm, but also for my spirit.