Monday, May 13, 2013

Lambing Soon, Escape is Nigh!

The flock is getting ready to lamb any day now. The mother's all have tight, round bags under their tails and are pawing at the ground before laying down away from each other. I have a feeling lambing will be a chaotic three days here, but not last much longer. It seems everyone is on the same schedule, biologically speaking. Of course, just saying that is taunting circumstance, so perhaps it'll be a long 45-days of lambing, one or two little quicktails showing up at a time.

I like watching the flock this late breeding season. They are all stuck in one paddock, the ground all eaten down to moss with petals of apple blossoms all over like falling snow. They eat and bitch, circle and butt heads. As a woman (albeit, not a mother) I can tell when others who share the gender want more personal space. Atlas the ram seems only interested in food, his job done for a while. He has escaped (and lead three other escape attempts) into the woods so far in search of the lushness all around the fence lines. I guess it's hard to deal with that level of matriarchy inside a fence? But sheep escapes are easy to thwart. A bucket of grain and a lifted bit of woven wire they can shimmy under and they are back inside the safe zone. I have been repairing the weak areas these past three days, trying to stop all the exploration committees, but Atlas is clever. He knows exactly the spots I have missed. Jerk.

I am in the last two weeks of writing a book, behind on the mortgage, lambing is any day now and out of coffee. As you can imagine, stress is at an all time high. Gobson ran over a rusty nail in the woods yesterday and is on his way to the vet this afternoon to get it seen to. When it rains....

I do know enough about myself and this farm to know this is a phase. And all this fear and frustration and deadlines and bill calls will ebb and flow away. Right now I need to focus on the work, and working a little harder to make ends meet, but it'll all be fine. Whenever I feel panic wash over me I just sit outside on my porch and take a deep breath or seven with my eyes closed. I tell myself when I open them I will be surrounded by a farm I built by hand, through nothing but scrappy willm hard work, and the kindness and devotion of a readership all over the world. And when I open my eyes the proof is all around me. It's in the waddling ducklings parading to the well. It's in the sounds of Joeseph the sheep on the hillside. It's in the flickering ears of Merlin, the toss of his mane. It's in a dog with a sore paw, and a house with apple blossoms crowning a rack of antlers, and in the heart of the girl breathing slow on a porch.

Good things are on the way, and the only way out is through.