The Heart of the Storm
That warm rain lead to snow. That snow lead to ice rain. And that ice lead to more ice and wind harsh enough to feel like I should be looking over my shoulder for White Walkers. And that is where I found myself last night, around 11PM, walking up the frozen and windy hillside to the pole barn to check on the pregnant ewe and hope she didn't have the poor judgement to birth in such horrid weather. I was tired and slightly worried that the old trees above me would send down some frozen branches. The wind literally howls on this mountain, a mixture of elevation and form. I'll admit to being a little scared. But in all this wind and discomfort there was a smile under my canvas and fleece hood. There is a certain type of job security in knowing not everyone is up for this sort of employment.
As for the ewe? She didn't have a lamb in there. She wasn't showing signs of birthing anytime soon, either. Her rear wasn't puckered or dripoping, her belly had not distended into the presentation position for the lamb. She had a few days by my judgement. I let out a sigh and looked around the hill shed by the lantern light. The sheep were a mass of wool and in the center was the new lamp, curled beside his mother and looking warmer in his place than I was inside under the covers. It was the heart of the storm.