Wednesday, April 20, 2011

under aries

Tonight I sat on the tailgate of my truck with a lamb in my arms. It was dark. The little ewe, Pidge, seemed tired. I caught her moments before with my crook after noticing her move so much slower than the others. She seemed thinner too. Worried about a slew of issues, I decided to feel her over and check her out. I gave her some supplements and a bottle of milk replacer to pep her up with a light dose of antibiotics. We sat in the porch light streaming off the house, the crook leaning against the tailgate. I was using a clean beer bottle with a clear nipple on it to feed the little lass. In my arms was twenty-five pounds of wool and hooves. She seemed okay, but a little tired. I could relate.

I held her close to my face and smelled her head. The potion of baby lanolin and grass. The air felt like rain. The other sheep grazed above us on the hill, the occasional baa muffled by new grass mixed in with the sounds of tree frogs farther down the mountain. I sat out there with her longer than I needed too. Her weight on my lap, and wool in my arms, felt like my body had been waiting for it forever. To be this comfortable in the world. Not worried about my hair, or my skin, or my weight: just complete.

I'm not into astrology, but I love watching the stars. On this late April night I wondered if the ewe lamb and I were under the watch of Aries, up there in the heavens? It wasn't until I came in here to write to you that I realized we were. It was such a happy discovery. Here in North America so many shepherds are lambing, or tending to lambs, around this time. It took 28 years, but I finally understood why there's a ram in the sky. Someone's got to keep an eye on us.

I thanked god, luck, and a star ram tonight. I'm grateful for them all.


Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Can I just say you are an absolute wonderful writer :) As I finished my chicken chores here on the west coast.......I made a fruit smoothie in the ever ongoing trying to slim down endeavor, only to find your peaceful words, your beautiful pictures you make with them....all comforting and just right after this long day! You are living a longed for is a beautiful thing!

April 20, 2011 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger goatldi said...

For many a year my live by rule is "with a kid (or lamb) in your lap while the Mom grazes is the closest to God you will ever be on this earth".

We stewards are so blessed!

April 20, 2011 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Victoria Strauser said...

Just stumbled across your blog tonight, actually via a Google image search. Just started our very first batch of chicks - laying hens, 2 1/2 weeks old. Love it! We also have 3 cats and 5 alpacas (#6 on the way) and are shopping for a farm in western WI. Love your writing - I will be visiting here often I can tell!

April 20, 2011 at 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you - I don't really believe in astrology, but it's fun to think about. I'm an Aries and I love April because of all the baby animals born during this month. They say Aries are stubborn and I guess that's a good trait to have when you're a fledgling farmer. ;}

April 20, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture your words show in my head... I hope your little ewe feels better soon.

April 20, 2011 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger RabbleRoost said...

I know how that goes... I find myself holding onto my little goat kids a lot longer than I need to as well. Especially since they love to snuggle.
Just wish the mothers picked a better time than one in the morning to have their babies! At least I have a beautiful new little doeling to show for the lost hours of sleep...

April 21, 2011 at 2:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The way you write Jenna you need to have a shelf full of books with your name on them. Your style causes me to instantly love what I'm reading and wish it could have gone on when I reach the end. Thanks for all you do.

April 21, 2011 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Jenna-You sound like you're home...

April 21, 2011 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger mmgreenough said...

So happy for you Jenna!

April 21, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

It's wonderful things have slowed down enough that you now have time to reflect and write about your thoughts. This is your unique voice.

April 21, 2011 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

All things happen for a reason. The eviction notice you received a year and a half ago has led to the beauty of an April night under the stars snuggling with a lamb born on your own farm. Thank you for letting us share your wonderful journey.

April 21, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, this story needs to go in the next book. :-) Maybe in a chapter called "Getting to know ewe" (sorry, caffeine just kicked in & I'm a little silly)

April 21, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hey Jenna - not sure if you were aware of this, but wanted to pass it along:
Fiber Festival local(ish) to you.
- S.

April 21, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger kippy said...

You are an excellent writer. Time to write a book about your first year at Cold Antler. The description of the lamb smelling like lanolin nad grass was quite dear.

April 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Awesome post! I felt right there with you. Hope the baby is thriving.

April 21, 2011 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Helois said...

Sounds simply wonderful. I hope you little lamb is feeling better soon.

April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM  

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