Once upon a time a dear old soul was born to a farm family in the mountains of Western North Carolina. When he was sent to this family by the Great Spirit, he was small and tender. He was loved by his caring parents, nurtured by healthy food, cuddled by the fresh air, and tended to by many animals. By the time he could walk, he had developed a passion for the farm.
Talking came easy to Andy, but being wise and observant, he spent more time watching than chatting. His mind and spirit were drawn to the inner workings of creation, a sense of curiosity that stretched further and deeper than any three-year-old. By five, he longed to connect with the earth, and he proclaimed to his parents that he wanted a farm.
Now, Andy’s parents were not ones to turn loose a small child out on the path and suggest he make his way in the world. Rather, they suggested he choose a farm skill of his liking, and they would ensure that his contributions to their farm equaled their own.
“Chickens,” Andy stated, “I want chickens.” And so it was.
Over the years, Andy studied his chicks and watched them grow into creatures of habit. He followed behind them learning their routines and listening to their chatter. Many hard lessons were learned about predators and prey as foxes, hawks, and raccoons hunted for food amongst Andy’s flock. Yet, he came to appreciate the circle of life and his role in it.
Even now, as a boy who teeters between childhood and the teen years, Andy has comfortably settled into his “old soulness”. His knowledge of farming and his poultry extends beyond what many farmers can profess about their jobs, their animals, or their crops. He is wise, this boy, and when he looks at you over the rim of his glasses, you know that the words he carefully chooses come from a place deep within his soul.
If you’re lucky enough to talk with Andy, you will find yourself eagerly hoping to hear one or two secrets about Life. But then he giggles, and you are transported back to the farm and the chickens. In that moment, you realize that an Old Soul has come to you through the voice of a child, and what a precious gift that can be.