At the bottom of our road just down the hill and around the corner, there is a large yellow house with a huge front porch, a yard filled with gardens and a chicken coup. This house has a sign hung on the railing of the side door entrance that says, Fresh Eggs. When the sign is facing outward, there are eggs for sale found just inside the door in the kitchen of this genial home.
I have lived here on this road for nearly ten years. I have spoken to the woman whose tender love and care has made the yellow house and yard so endearing. Yet, for some reason I had never stopped to buy the eggs. Upon moving back to the area with my family last month, a few things about New England living were must do’s, number one being, fresh eggs from the neighbor up the road...
So my girls and I have kept a close watch on the sign to see when it would be flipped informing us that there were “Fresh Eggs” to be had. This evening after dinner we walked down the road to the lovely yellow house and found that the sign was indeed facing out. My girls full of excitement skipped up the walk and we knocked and then proceeded to open the screen door. I could hear voices just out of sight and smell the familiar scent of cooking food. I thought briefly that I hoped we weren’t interrupting their dinner.
“Hello!” I called. “Knock, knock!?”
“Hello? Who’s there?” Came a voice from the kitchen. I stood in the entryway feeling a bit like an intruder and all at once eager and awkward about greeting the people to whom this home belonged.
“A neighbor.” I answered. “We’re here for eggs?”
A kind looking woman came into the hall, followed by an older man with a gentle smile. They were of course, immediately taken with Emma and Abbie. Introductions and a short explanation of where we lived and how we’d moved away but were now back, took place. Although they appeared to have a guest for dinner, the man offered to let the girls “help” him feed the chickens. We happily followed him out to the chicken coup with our carton of fresh eggs in hand. He and Emma poured feed into the feeder and spread some on the ground. Emma found two chicken feathers and then he opened a side door to reveal four nests and had the girls reach in and each take out two eggs! The first he put into his bucket, and the second he said was for them to keep.
“For breakfast in the morning,” he smiled.
We walked back to the kitchen door, filled with joyful wonder and appreciation, for the warm and welcoming people whom we are lucky enough to call neighbors, for the chickens for producing a bounty so rich and plentiful as to provide to an entire neighborhood, for the kind and generous way we were treated as friends and taught something new. I myself was feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be here, in New England on this first day of July when the trees are lush and green and the wildflowers are in bloom. Where the air smells of life and the sun shines warmly through a canopy of leaves, where the crickets sing and the fireflies dance and the dew settles sweetly upon the grass… Elated and satiated by the endless, wondrous beauty of Nature as I know her. All decked out in her summer splendor.