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  • Julie

AND SO (IT IS)


In recent weeks the weather has shown up a callous naysayer of spring, throwing wet stuff at all angles and in varying stages of frozen. It's all been Very April. And so, ever the cautious shepherdess, I have kept our sheep confined to a stall-with-a-view under the capitalized, italicized, and in bold header of LAMBS! Though, as has been revealed by the absence of new life in the barn, I know very little about imminent labor and it's telltale signs. This morning after more maligning of The Hand That Feeds than even the rottenest sheep could classify as fair, I led the flock to a rather sad and waterlogged piece of "pasture" encircled with a stretch of chicken netting barely committed to its function. There the ewe-nited front basked under a cloudless sky for the bulk of this Sunday, contentedly sun-warmed and self-satisfied by victory over their keeper. Location, location, location! all the beasts scream on these first true days of spring.

...

We began our day ingenuous little potters with plans to be In Studio for the duration. But first. A brief rendezvous with the chicken house whose windows were blown out by force of a few hens winter before last when Craig startled them with their daily allotments. The temporary garden plastic that saved our asses from predators, the elements, etc. that evening (and every evening since), we all agreed had lingered at its post somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 days too long, give or take a few weeks.

A half an hour, we said.

At most!

We know better, and yet we find ourselves surprised when hours pass and the day's original plans seem just begun near 4 in the afternoon. Ingenuous little potters might well be synonymous with homesteaders in denial in our particular case.

But

the sheep were out and the chickens have a new-to-them set of windows (one with a handy in-case-of-devastating-fire "Tot Finder" sticker whose misrepresentation of the building's contents has Gus wound particularly tight because what if we have a fire and they look for children in there..??). We also played a rousing game of post-lunch hide and seek where I was discovered to be asleep on a pile of rocks. Benadryl can save the day post chicken house cleaning, it's true. But you may find yourself easier prey should you happen upon a warm rock under the noonday sun. Be advised.

...

In spaces where I fall into inane what is my life? broodings (long drives for critically endangered goose eggs, water hauling to animals on soggy pasture, washing the thirtieth pan of the day, etc.), I have come upon the idea that perhaps my soul's Plight As Homesteader/Human is a learned graceful release of expectations and attachments. The watched sheep never lambs, the assuredly bred cow goes into heat, the reliable incubator hatches nothing, the newly baptized unreliable incubator chugs right along with a handful of developing goose eggs. The slam dunk IVF patient (as her doctors refer to her) has 5 unsuccessful treatments and finds herself rather ungracefully facing No More Children.

And so it is.

And so it is.

I won't call this year redemption from all that came in the past two. Instead, I'll call it home and all of us who live here lucky- regardless of the messy inconsistencies between ideals and reality.

I will prostrate myself at the feet of this life and

release,

release,

release.

And so. (It is.)


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