Miss Lonely Hearts Could Show Us the Way
I highly respect the political science and sociology professors who gave me an education at SFU. They were learned individuals, with
degrees from prestigious universities. In spite of my regard for them, for significant life lessons, I’m actually more inclined to turn to my 3 chickens.
Better known in Hedley as “the girls”, their leader in innovation and thwarting my purposes is Miss Lonely Hearts. She is the odd girl out. Possibly due to the rejection, she is most apt to think “outside the fence.” Then there are the two Cleopatras, life long buddies. We can’t tell them apart and therefore decided one name will do for both.
Like an unanticipated pregnancy, the girls arrived without any prior notice. To control them, I affixed a length of chicken wire to poles around the garden. With the fence in place, I felt confident the garden was adequately protected.
Very quickly I found myself locked in a fierce battle of wits and will with Lonely Hearts. It was spring and appetizing shoots were sprouting out of the soil in the garden. Possibly even more compelling, the garden was off limits, and this she could not tolerate. All that first afternoon she patrolled along the outside of the fence. With the Cleopatras marching behind, they looked like determined, hardened cons, seeking to escape from prison.
The following morning the girls were in the garden, furiously scratching for insects. Tender young plants were being uprooted with alarming haste. I picked up the girls individually and gently threw them over the fence. They had squeezed through a narrow opening between the fence and storage shed. A quick fix. I was considerably mollified by their thoughtful gift of 3 beautiful brown eggs.
Same story the next morning. They were in the garden and again I evicted them. In the afternoon Linda saw Lonely Hearts run toward the fence at breakneck speed, then blithely soar over. “Clip their wings,” people said, and that day we clipped the right wing of each girl.
For almost 2 weeks Lonely Hearts devised creative means of penetrating the fence. Her favourite trick was to poke her head through one of the small openings in the fence and work the wire with her neck, patiently and persistently stretching it until she could slip through. When Linda went to the garden to harvest her basil, the girls had already thoroughly clipped it and had started on the radish tops.
After two weeks, I installed a higher, much sturdier fence. Lonely Hearts flew over my new five foot high fence once, by taking off from a box I’d left standing on end inside their area.
The lady’s strategies mirror the words of Jack Canfield in “The Principles of Success.” Canfield suggests we “operate outside the world of conventionality and instead live in a world of expanding awareness, creativity and accomplishment.” He urges us to “become free of the many fears and anxieties that diminish the imaginations and ambitions of the vast majority of people.”
This describes Miss Lonely Hearts nicely. Like the intrepid individuals who dug tunnels under the Berlin Wall to attain freedom, she concocts strategies that will take her under, over, around or through the obstacle.
If we were to apply this thinking consistently at the personal and community level, could we develop more fulfilling lives? Could we create more attractive communities that people would want to come to and be part of? Miss Lonely Hearts would say, “it’s possible.”