Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hunting

Every evening, a few hours before dusk, I set outside to the farthest corner of the farm and wait for deer. It's hunting season and I am still trying to get that first buck. At this point (years into trying) it is less about excitement and more of a quiet breathing hope. I want a deer. I want him in the freezer to make the weight of food expenses and security a little lighter. I want to know I can achieve that skill, from the shot to the butchering to the meat wrapped in white paper. The reality is I can't stop life and take three days to sit in a stand or travel to farms with better odds. The holiday season has me working from around 8AM till 3:30 on obligations and clients waiting for logos and animals waiting for dinner could care less about venison. So I am trying, but not thirsty. Mostly it has become a quiet time to sit still in the forest without distraction. I think of pretty things to write. I plan out dinner. I try to ignore the dull ache from this molar that needs a root canal.

I know I need to get it done but am trying to put it off. I called my dentist for some antibiotics for the pain and he said he'd only fill the prescription this last time. I have to get either the molar removed or the canal. So that's become a higher priority but the roof over my head comes first. Once I get a mortgage payment in I'll start setting aside what I can for tooth drilling and plugging and hope this Rx gets me through the holidays without any pain.

The good news is I've been here before. My genes may be garbage when it comes to teeth but they are top notch when it comes to resourcefulness. And with most of the firewood in I can shift focus to this. And since the farm now is mostly animals being raised for the freezer instead of carried through into a breeding season - that also frees up time, money, and resources of mind and spirit.

While feeding the lambs on the hill today I felt this real pang knowing they would be gone in a few weeks and for the first time in nearly a decade I would be without sheep. Sheep have been the cornerstone of this farm. They were what fueled my dreams, brought me border collies, kept this farm moving and spirits high. But before I can have a flock like that again I need to reseed pasture, redo all the fencing that failed over the years or focus on electric. I needed time to get away and sleep through late March nights without the fear of frozen lambs.

But I feel that guilt. That same feeling of not doing enough that I wrote about yesterday. And when I feel that I need to remind myself that regardless of how I feel, it has been enough to keep me here. It's been enough to carry this farm since I signed the papers and took it on. And even though it is always harder than I want it to be - it is mine. Entirely my choice, my work, my gift to have.

Things work out or they don't. Teeth get fixed or they don't. Farms carry on.