We worked into the late hours last night, unable to wait a moment longer than necessary to open the new pasture for the cows grazing on the beef land.
We began working on the huge pasture before the torrential rains from the hurricane bands swept through last year and put a stop to everything in their path on a massive scale. Time stood still with regards to plans as recovery efforts took over after widespread flood damage in our state. Our land was not affected by the broken dams and river flooding but was by the extended rains and already existing damage from sustained harsh weather factors.
Last night, we put the finishing touches on that field. We hung the gates in the twilight, ran the electric fencing wire in complete darkness. It was good.
I set fire to the remnants of debris that remained from the clean up of construction and clearing. I sat on the lip of my car door frame and watched the smoke rise and curl toward the pink and gray sky of late evening and thought how representative it was of letting go of things past; clearing out the old and making way for the new. It was a purging. A ritual of sorts. It occurred to me that I had figuratively cast more broken bits than old wood in that debris pile; I had cast in broken dreams, bad choices, thoughtless acts and self-blame as well.
I sat there for a while, watching the thick smoke of my regrets being released and the hopes for my farm being renewed.
Farming is so much more to me than a lifestyle. It is a dream realized. It is a culmination of all things I hold dear in my spirit : simplicity, family, communion with animals, connectedness with the earth, hard work that you feel not only in your bones, but in your heart…
There is a joy in the highs and a devastation in the lows of living this life that cannot be experienced in any other outlet. It is a ‘ job ‘ only in the respect that parenting is a ‘ job ‘; neither can be classified so simply.
Farming has no time clock. No sick days. No vacation plan. One does not just make dinner plans or go to town and catch a movie. It is the least recognized occupation for its demands. There must be a love for it in order for it to succeed and it’s success is not measured monetarily.
Success around here is found in pulling a calf that is stuck in a heifer suffering from edema for 48 minutes with bare hands because your farm vet is stuck in traffic and believing it dead, then having it take a breath and finding the strength to give it one final , freeing pull.
Success is finding a half-delivered llama cria , dry and stuck and reaching into the suffering mother all the way to elbows after consulting vet via phone, finding the leg of the baby hooked behind the mother’s pelvic bone and freeing it. Then, milking the mother llama standing in a field for three days an ounce at a time and feeding that baby and doing physical therapy on her twisted leg every 45 minutes the first three days until she could manage to stand–followed by every three hours for weeks having the professionals shake their heads in wonder when three months later an animal everyone but you thought would need to be put down looks and walks completely normally.
( Sunday : day 3)
( Sunday : present day )–the tongue thing is normal . lol _)
Success is losing it all and not letting the grief and anger change you forever.
Success is recovering. Rebuilding. Reclaiming.
It’s picking yourself up by the boot straps and starting again.
I am grateful.
Grateful to God.
Grateful to My Honey.
Grateful to the friends who stood beside me through it all.
Life is good.