The Thirteenth Day of Christmas –

The rooster crows into darkness as the full moon set hours ago. Does he know about the feed, how the ingredients shifted and his hens are not laying? He knows enough to call to us when we forget the noon release, or if we fail to feed his flock the night before. He tells us, when we walk out the door, if there is a need in the hen house. He crows for a purpose, every time, it just takes attention. He does announce morning, too, religiously.

My mother raised me with roosters. She celebrates her 86th birthday today. She still walks to church, takes communion to shut-ins, maintains her garden, and concerns herself daily with the weather (literal, intellectual, spiritual and emotional) of her neighbors, her community, and her nine far-flung children. I dare you to try and learn a word about her.¬† She defies every attempt. The topic will be about you before you even recognize the silken turn in the conversation. She converses¬†with purpose, every time, because she pays attention. Her birthday made a baker’s dozen, extending the twelve days just one more.

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