I never meant to take anyone’s life away.  I don’t even know how it happened.  I am battling an unseen enemy, in fact many of them, and so much has expired at once.  The sweltering season has begun and the puppy is gone and the chicks are all dead.  The tomato plants wither away without ever having produced.  The tops of an entire otherwise healthy crop of both beans and sweet potatoes disappeared overnight.  All I could do was escape.

Failure is never easy, but like with everything else, when I do it I go all out.  In self-flagellation I have clawed at the poison ivy up and down my arms until there are trails of blood and stinging open wounds.  I can’t sleep, I have no appetite, above all for any meat, and I’m considering following my sister’s lead and going vegan.  A vegan in rural East Texas?  Why not, stranger things have happened.

Like others, I am weak, so what else could I do but escape to the city.  I pace for 12 hours in front of a friend’s picture window and the gorgeous city skyline view extending beyond it.  I let the shimmering steal and curves of blue towers and angles of gray glass seduce me away.  Then I did all those city things I have been missing these last few months-shop, cut and color, mani-pedi, big pools, favorite spots, old friends and maybe even new ones.  The old friends all saying that country life suits me.  Yes, thank you, I know.

So it is confirmed that the long hours of work these last months are not wasted, and anyway I would not have spent my hours in any other way.  But it’s the mystery that gets to me.   How did it all happen so fast?  Why, what , how to correct it for next time when you can’t see or confront the enemy?   How to overcome failure, when success seems so far out of reach?

When I was able to put myself in the moment, and forgive the city for its flaws and the country for its share, and me for my own, the little city escape went well.  It’s just during all those other times that I kept recounting my loses.  It’s like when you break up with your love and suddenly everywhere around you are happy couples, so it is with me and my murdered chicks.   I’ll bet you never realized how many references there are to chickens and eggs during the course of a day.

As for the chicks, which evidence would show became the breakfast of a single raccoon, I wish, I really do wish, I could blame the raccoon.  And I might add, question if he really needed to destroy all of them, in a single hour?  But placing blame aside, in my gut I know, they were in my care, and I failed them.

I know it would be overly dramatic to say that a little piece of my heart is gone, but when you are in the middle of one of these tough life lessons–the ones trying to show you to stop being so damn hasty, and learn to ask for help more often, and the most obvious of all, the one that is begging you reconsider entirely the nature of the chicken and the egg, and while you’re at it whether you really even need to be eating them-these kind of realizations always come terribly slowly.

It is really quite unpleasant to get an extended glimpse of your inferior angles.  What is it about human nature that makes us so eager to count our chicks before they hatch?  Every bit as much in relationships and money, as in failure and success.