I put holiday lights around the chicken coop today. I'm not sure they will appreciate the festive nod but then again, it's hard to say what a chicken finds entertaining. As creatures, I think chickens and ducks are quite whimsical. They have beautiful blended feather-coats with all sorts of patterns and colors that change as they turn or the light strikes them a certain way. We have a Cayuga duck who is black but when the sun shines on him, he turns deep emerald green and bright purple. Chickens and ducks stand upright on tiny legs with big out-of-proportion bodies. And yet they can run fast. This kind of whimsy cannot be underestimated for what it gives to the humans who watch them.
I like to choose a 'word' for the year and I had whimsy as my word, not once but twice. It came from a need in me at the time to create more joyfulness around me, to see the fanciful and delightful. After the past two years, whimsy seems important to me again. It's not that I underestimate what is difficult or hard, even tragic. In fact, I think we all give it a great deal of import as we listen to horror stories on the news or see grief first-hand in our own lives. No, whimsy is not a denial of pain or sadness, but rather a lens that can show us hope. And hope is something we all desperately need.
Whimsy sometimes eludes me because I forget to look for it. I am too busy with all of the life around me that we are all living, sometimes frantically. It's easy to miss a moment filled with delightful incongruity but I am resolving to look harder and longer for these moments. The 'fancy' that is all around us is there to see but only when we acknowledge it by looking for it. Whimsy is an antidote that we all sorely need; open your eyes to it.