The Greatest Gift April 23 2011
I am pulling meat off carcass,
Reviewing bird anatomy,
Mindful that my bones and sinew aren’t so different
From those I’m disassembling on this chicken.
I’m pondering omnivorousness –
On how I come off thinking it’s all right
To devour this chicken’s flesh, to make it mine.
And then I feel grateful for the order of creation,
For the food chain.
We all exchange our gifts with others, giving life,
Each in our own way.
I am thankful to receive the gift this bird has given,
Expression of its mission here on earth.
I eat it, and it gives me strength —
Becomes a part of me as I, in turn,
Share with others my own gifts.
I’m humbled as I ken the ways in which we’re one —
I, the chicken, and the universe.
I’ve never before thought of preparing a cooked chicken as a sacred task. Usually it’s a chore I’d prefer to skip – tedious, greasy, messy. Today, though, for some reason I found myself experiencing a different perspective, honoring the cooked chicken I was about to eat, appreciating the gift it gave to me and understanding that all creatures (perhaps with the exception of cockroaches and poison ivy…) give something of value to others – and all our gifts are needed for the universe to work. The energy wheel that’s the living world is awesomely beautiful and complex, as is every act that we perform in honoring life and love.