The sheep were eating hay and I had more to pick up later today from good farmers. I would load it in the pickup truck I adore, still running and who I have learned its quirks and rubs the way you learn old friends. Merlin was covered in his mastodon coat and not at all bothered by the chicken on his back enjoying her horse-hair slippers. The dogs ran around me. The goats bleated to the buck. I had firewood, hay, and had fixed the oil boiler by myself this week. (I use firewood for heat but depend on the boiler to heat my water for showers/kitchen). There was plumbing snafu as well, and while it isn't fixed I diagnosed and diverted the drainage problem. Now water drains into a metal basin in my mud room instead of the floor. Things aren't perfect but trotting into my fifth year of self employment I am a much more capable woman. More disciplined and less deterred. The girl who bought this place would not recognize me today, but she'd still look up to her.
Who were you five years ago? How about ten? Do you miss the past or like yourself better now? I hope that you are happier in the present. Yes, it means aging (something women are told is worse than death on a daily basis) but when I look back at how terrified and emotionally-driven I was I don't envy my twenties. I'm not scared anymore and that feels amazing. And while I am still plenty emotional - they don't take the wheel anymore. My emotions aren't the ones making choices these days and I think that is the main reason I still have this land in my name. Cold Antler Farm went from being a place of growing fantasy to a maintained daydream. This is not a bad thing, by any means. I'm not distracted by new hobbies or additions to the farm. I like my life with the animals, horse, hawk and hounds. I like my work of design, illustrations, farming, and pop culture. And I really like that when things literally fall apart I don't break down and cry - I suck in some air and fix them.
Lessons come to us in all sorts of different ways. Mine mostly come from out-stubborning myself and keeping on. So this post is mostly acceptance and celebration. I'm still here. I'm happy here. And when the snow falls and winter truly hits with the full brunt of his force - I will stand up to him with axe, wrench, and sump pump.