It’s been a long week on the farm. (What, it’s only Tuesday?) I have nothing clever or interesting to say. I’ve been vigilantly facing nature.
It’s the time of year when we’re outnumbered. The weeds are coming in faster than we can handle them. The frost has already taken out the peas, and the rain is barely letting up.
We’ve lost five chickens and six ducks. Most to a fox, some to a raccoon. All in broad daylight.
Most of the ducks we’ve lost were girls. They sneak away to sit on eggs this time of year, but it makes them easy prey. They already must sit for a full month for anything to even possibly hatch, and can barely leave for a moment. To do so while others see them as dinner, well, it’s a miracle it ever works.
We’ve been vigilant, keeping everyone enclosed in a much smaller area than they’d like. We do multiple inspections a day. We set a trap.
We caught the raccoon, a carnivorous beast the size of a dog. We caught an opossum, twice. (I think it rather liked having its own room.) We’ve only caught glimpses of the fox, except for one mad dash, still in my socks, buttered toast in hand.
But we’ve also caught glimpses of the oriole, filling its bright orange belly with segments of orange. And the hummingbird, swinging on the small red feeder. The barn swallows, the warbler, the rose-breasted grosbeak. All of them, here, filling the trees and our senses.
I remind myself it all comes with the territory. The good, the bad, the fortune, the struggle. This good, this struggle, comes from choosing this life.
My work has returned. I’m getting my metal cutting groove back. I didn’t realize I’d lost it. I’m learning to manage time again now that I don’t have enough. I’m juggling more, or at least different. I find myself chasing everything, catching none – a feeling I haven’t felt in a while. I’m asking myself the hard questions: what can I handle, when must I say no. I’m craving connection. I want to break through a ceiling that previously confined me.
It dawns on me that I’m pacing like a caged animal. Like the chickens pacing back and forth behind their newfound fence. I want to be out in the open. I want to burst into view. I want to make something amazing.
But, impulse isn’t the answer. The answer is same as it always was:
To simply, vigilantly, do the work.