Rosebud, her newborn twin girls, and Lucky Buddy Bear
Things have been crazy. There are stories, but there isn't time to write them down. There hasn't even been time to change my hats. I've been wearing them piled on top of each other for days: shepherd, vet, midwife, nursemaid—and undertaker.
Current lamb count: 25. Number of Nanny Bears having the time of their life (and wishing we could have baby lambs all year round): 1. Number of farmgirls who never in her wildest childhood dreams pictured herself at 38 years old, wearing dirty overalls and a big straw hat, kneeling in the hay in an old barn, listening to the rain hitting the leaky tin roof while holding a baby bottle and trying to milk a sheep named Snugglebunny: 1.
Update: Click here to read "A Tail Of Two Mothers: A Mother's Day Story From The Farm" and learn why I was trying to milk Snugglebunny—and why I was able to stop.
More below. . .
Minutes before an enormous thunderstorm blew in out of nowhere—catching us off guard and turning the driveway into a creek within minutes—Bear and I hiked out to close the front gate. My mind whirred with everything that had been going on, everything that needed to be done.
As I chained the gate shut and turned to head back to the barn, a perfect heart rock glared up at me from the driveway. I've been finding a lot of them lately—so many that the ledge where I keep them is just about full. There are dozens and dozens of them, carefully lined up against one another in a place I pass by numerous times each day.
Somebody once left a comment here regarding my heart rocks, saying something like 'there must be a lot of love on your farm.' I think about that a lot. Why do I find so many of these heart shaped rocks (that I love so much)? I don't go looking for them. It's more like they find me. The one on the driveway today—that was in a spot I've walked over hundreds and hundreds of times—couldn't have been more obvious if it had been lit up with flashing lights.
Last October I wrote about a turning point that happened between me and Cary. We headed out to the front field with the sheep and Donkey Doodle Dandy as usual, but instead of following me back to the house, Cary chose to remain with her flock.
And that is as it should be, I thought. And as I turned and walked away, I looked down and found a beautiful heart rock. I took it as a sign. And I took the heart rock I found today as a sign.
The last few days have been very trying and very tiring. I've questioned what I'm doing with my life—and why I'm doing it—more than once. I've wondered how in the world I ended up in this place. (A funny thing happened on my way to Vermont—life got in the way and I found myself living instead in rural Missouri, where I'd never been in my life.)
As I clomped around in the pouring rain a little while ago, I was reminded of a scene in the movie "Four Weddings And A Funeral." At the end of the movie, Andie MacDowell is standing at Hugh Grant's doorstep in a rainstorm, sans umbrella, soaking wet. He asks if she wants to get out of the rain, and she says something like, "You reach a point when you just can't get any wetter."
She was right. After only a few seconds out in the storm, I was as soaked as if I'd jumped fully clothed into a lake. It was actually rather liberating. As soon as I realized I was at the point where I couldn't get any wetter, I was able to ignore the rain and focus on my chores.
When I finally got back to the house, I stood in the living room and clumsily peeled off my dripping overalls. I felt a weight in one pocket. It was my heart rock from the driveway.
While I was driving the truck to the vet's office and the feed store yesterday, I slid the Talking Heads' Speaking In Tongues album into the CD player and cranked up the volume, because everyone knows you cannot fully enjoy the Talking Heads unless they are blasting away in your face. The last song on the album is "This Must Be The Place," and it is one of my favorites.*
I can't tell one from another—did I find you or you find me?. . . Home. . . I guess that this must be the place.
The rain just let up. I'm headed back to the barn, with a detour to get that Talking Heads CD from the truck. I think another blast of music is in order.
A year of Farm Photos ago:
3/27/06: Happy Birthday To My Sweetheart, Joe (There are those heart rocks popping up again.)
3/26/06: I Told You They Have No Manners
WDB#27: The Bigger The Water Dish, The Happier The Dog
*Shawn Colvin did a wonderful (and completely different) renditon of this song on her Cover Girl album.