I live in a residential area of Los Angele’s San Fernando Valley. I’m surrounded by houses, sidewalks, big trees, schools and the children that go with them. We’ve got walkers, runners, bike riders, dogs who walk their owners and one rogue chicken.
The chicken has lived on a corner in our sweet but busy neighborhood for the past few months. “Where did that chicken come from?” I asked my neighbor. She told me that it belongs to a couple up the street. Apparently it flew the coop and they can’t get it back.
I feel such a rush of joy every time I see the chicken! Why? Maybe it’s because it has broken out of its confines and is living life on independent chicken terms.
This free bird has picked the right neighborhood in which to head out on its’ own. Whenever I walk by for my daily rush of joy, I notice it has plenty of feed, fresh water and a constant flow of fans. People make the corner a destination. They bring their small children and ride their bikes by in hopes of getting a glimpse of the chicken. It’s the star of the neighborhood.
I think I’m affected so deeply by seeing this chicken because of my work. I founded and run a coworking space in Sherman Oaks. Most of our members have joined our space because they broke free from “regular” employment, or had to redefine their work terms after the economic downturn. No longer wanting to be held in the constraints of employment for someone else, they’ve taken their passion for their work into their own hands, flown the coop and joined a very supportive community. We’re sort of a group of rogue chickens.
When other people see the chicken does it make them think of escaping the shackles they’ve created in their lives in order to live free? Or do they just enjoy the bizarre folly that is seeing a chicken roaming free on a corner in LA.
To me, it’s both.
Regardless of what it represents, the rush of joy it brings is tremendous.
Thank you chicken. Every time I see you, a link loosens from my chains.