Monday, September 24, 2012

One Turkey of a Summer

I say one turkey of a summer, but there are actually five⎯and I’m not talking about relatives or friends. Yes, this was the summer of honest to goodness turkeys⎯as in the bird. My neighbors have had domestic turkeys for the past few years. This year, seven newly hatched poults figured out they could fit through their fence. Mamma turk decided she needed to be with her poults, so over the fence she flew. The seven turks didn’t make it two weeks before predators reduced the number of the brood to three, and months later there are still three. After the two-week brood reduction, one of the other hens decided she should join this new free-ranging family⎯and who could blame her.

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this odd family of five turkeys gradually pace back and forth through our property. It’s really quite meditative as I watch them. Ah, the “zen” of turkeys! They slowly roam and peck their way along, as if on a grid, “with a cluck-cluck here and a cluck-cluck there,” that even old MacDonald of farm fame would be proud of. I understand chickens aren’t the only cluckers and it’s the male tom turkey who gobbles⎯hmm, who knew.

As I watch the mamma hen, I see how patient and protective she is. My neighbor tells me her first brood did not survive. By free-ranging, she seems to have learned a thing or two⎯become one with her surroundings. Her response to fear, with a dog or coyote literally on her tail, is instinctive and sharp. She reacts when necessary, and then goes back to what it was she was doing, shedding her fears. She truly has captured the meaning of "it is what it is" by dealing with whatever it is and moving on.

This clucking family of five has brought many smiles and hours of zen-filled entertainment. As I move into fall and celebrate one turkey of a summer, I will consider the free-ranging patience I have been reminded of. I will also reflect on the importance of letting go of fear⎯before, during and after whatever "it is" that has caused the disturbance of patience, and thereby peace, in my life. By keeping patience and a sense of peace in front of me, I will be able to become one with my surroundings, wherever I may be.

Summer is over and I am back to my weekly postings. I’ve missed sharing my meanderings with you. Join me as I begin my third year of blogging.
Female Wild Turkey courtesy of Andrea Westmoreland