Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living spaciously (for a moment)

Soaking up some rays

This weekend felt different, more spacious, less rushed.  Dan was at a livestock auction in Oregon, so he left a small group of us in charge of the sheep.  This meant that I was responsible for checking up on the ewes, lambs and goats and feeding the guard dogs on Saturday; straight forward and not very time consuming. I opened up a new paddock for the ewes and lambs to move into (thanks for setting it all up, other intern Paul!) It took the sheep about 10 minutes of watching me and milling around until they decided collectively to charge me and the newly opened area...it made me laugh.  I got a video of the end of the charge:

I went down to check on a smaller group of ewes, lambs and goats and sadly found one lamb that had died.  After talking with Dan on the phone, we realized this was a lamb that had fractured its leg a couple of weeks ago. Dan said it was likely the lamb got an infection and that was the reason it died.

This wasn't my first or my saddest experience of livestock death since starting with Dan, but it was the first time I had to face it totally on my own. Honestly, I have felt anxiety just thinking about something like this happening. The anxiety comes from not being sure how I will react in the moment, whether I will fall apart, get sick and run away or hold it together and take care of what needs to be done. I also knew that this experience was inescapable, especially with my intention to have livestock in the future. Occasional death will be inevitable, natural and even healthy.  Taking care of this lamb was sad but with a quiet prayer I found hidden strength to call on and to count on in the future.

Lupin picked from the side of the road with my Mom
This day was also full of sun and life to come. My whole afternoon was open after the morning chores, so I decided to spend it in the garden with my parents. We went to the nursery, then planted three kinds of tomatoes,  lots of flowers, and thinned the lettuce plants (the culls went into our salads that evening). We also made plans for a couple more vegetables we want to plant in the coming weeks, as it starts to get really warm around here.  I will take some pictures of the garden to post soon (I keep forgetting).

I have to mention the warm Sunday afternoon bike ride along the river with Matt, a happy conclusion to a spacious weekend.

So, how does your garden grow? What are you planting this year? Did you take advantage of any sunny weather this weekend? Do you have any new creative endeavors taking shape this spring?

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