Waking With the Chickens (#SmallWonder Link-up)

  (The morning view from the porch at God's Whisper Farm)

Remember a few weeks back when I wrote about Cutting Loose at a friend's farm while enjoying a weekend long writing retreat?  This week I'm honored to host the farm's owner, author and editor, Andi Cumbo-Floyd.  Andi writes and lives from her heart and I hope you'll listen close to her words to get a sense of the love and presence they emanate.  Then, scroll down and visit the link to check out her new e-book, Writing Day-In and Day-Out: Living a Practice of Words.   

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It’s not light. But it is lighter than it was a few minutes ago when it was actually dark. Now, the sky is indigo and graying at the edges, waking into aging, perhaps.

I am still in my pajamas, the interior seams almost gone but still adequate enough to cover me for my walk to the chicken coop. The road is an 1/8 of a mile away, and the glimpse of the farmstead is slim, even if an early-rolling trucker comes by. My feet slide easily into my morning-cooled rubber shoes, and I walk the trail across the grass, knowing that when I return it will look like two wheels rolled the path.

I begin at the front of the wagon shed and slide back the bolt that does nothing but hold the door shut. Inside, I can just make out Lemon’s fluff beside the window screen. I stretch my arm long and slip the hook out of her eye. “Good morning, babies.”  I pour feed into the lime-green trench of holes and step out.

Behind the babies, I can hear him. He’s already crowed once in that sound that used to startle and delight me. The true cock-a-doodle-do of children’s books.  Now, I hear him rustling, his horny feet grasping the post on which he sleeps, sort of, still.

With him, his girls are sleeping, too, and I can hear the quite cuckle of their dreams. A coo. A tiny cluck. A mewl even.  I’m fairly certain I have never heard a sound so peaceful.

Then Xander lets fly his crow again, and I move a bit more quickly, eager to get the big birds food out before he wakes fully.  I toss Oyster shell into the scoop and then layer feed. I slide open another bolt, this one to the run and step in, swing the feed into the red trays below. 

Gently, I slide open the third bolt of my morning and swing the door to the back coop open before moving backwards as fast as I can, the feed scoop arcing in front of me as a ward against flying rooster spurs.

But then, I hear him crow again, from far back in the coop. He sings, and then, soft as a whisper, I hear the rasp of a sigh come from him. “Sleepy rooster,” I say. 

I slide that one bolt back into place on the run and stand outside, waiting. First, comes Fern, her head full of feathers like an awkward crown. Then, Xander steps forth, breast high, shoulders back. He fluffs up and struts, and he lets loose. Bold, brazen, moving toward me without fear.

Then, I hear that sigh of sleepiness ease from his mouth. “Good boy, Xander. Good boy.”

Maybe we are all at our best when we step into the day new, a little sleepy in the graying dawn.

Andi Cumbo-Floyd is a writer, editor, and writing coach who farms at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, 4 dogs, 4 cats, 6 goats, and 26 chickens. Her latest book is Writing Day In and Day Out: Living a Practice of Words and is available on Kobo and Amazon.  You can find out more about her work at her website, andilit.com

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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  


  1. Such a delightful word picture, and love this -> "the quiet cuckle of their dreams."
    Thanks for this pajama-morning'ed picture of peace.

  2. Enjoyed this! It is always good to join you!

    Sorry I couldn't find the linkup tool :(

    1. Thanks for the head's up - I actually forgot to paste it in! Should be good now.

  3. Kelly, I can't find the link up anywhere. Can you help me? Thanks & blessings!

  4. "Maybe we are all at our best when we step into the day new, a little sleepy in the graying dawn."

    Love this! My favorite time of day is early morning and late evening, caring for animals.

    1. Mine, too, Joe. What kind of animals do you tend? We also have goats, and the regular smattering of dogs and cats.

  5. love this - found you through a spacious place. So glad I did.

  6. Andi,
    What a lovely glimpse into your morning and Xander ...Thank you :-) Thanks, Kelly, too :)

  7. I have no problem being sleepy in the gray morning dawn - There are so many God things to be found in it - like your chickens and roosters! Such beautiful quiet!