To me they epitomize the phrase, "Bloom where you are planted." They scritch and scratch and search for bugs with the same concentrated effort whether they are in a small and already barren run (it doesn't take long for them to reduce their space to bare dirt) or ranging in the open where blades of grass and bugs have yet to be consumed.
I'm thinking that the world would be better off if we viewed it through chicken's eyes. Because it really is an amazing world, and it is our priviledge to be living and breathing and creating. So much to be thankful for, just on that level. I know chickens have tiny brains, but I admire how they focus on what is at hand (or foot as the case may be!) and do not stress over all the things they don't have or don't know or are afraid of.
We could take a page from their proverbial notebook. Focus on what we do have, not on what we do not. Enjoy what our days hold, not spend them wishing for something yet to come or something that once was while effectively wasting the moments we have today.
I'm going to enjoy having chickens again. They will keep me mindful to look up at the blueness of the sky (or to revel in the rain). They will remind me where my focus needs to be--in the bounty and beauty around me.
I'm under no illusions, though. They will also remind me of why I haven't really missed keeping chickens--shutting them in for the night. Letting them out for the day. "Has anyone gathered the eggs yet?" (The answer always seems to be no.) Lining up someone to care for them while we're out of town.
Life has these complications, as we all know full well. But nonetheless, as I watch these biddies scratching in the dust and crooning to eachother in the warmth of the afternoon sun, I am reminded and challenged to see through their little chicken eyes and glimpse the treasures of the everyday.