Spring is in the air. Oh, I know it is all a joke from Mother Nature and that we will get a killing frost (or two or three) before the true spring is here but that isn't really the spring I am talking about. I'm talking about that spring that brings the promise of new hope, new starts, and bright horizons. It is no coincidence that Easter is in spring.
Last evening our cow Rosie (aka "Mama") had her calf. It was a struggle as she pressed and groaned and strained. The calf has a large head and front feet (the part that is born first). When it became obvious that a little tug would be much appreciated, I grasped the baby's hoofs and with the next contraction, pulled slightly. Two of those assists, and we had a healthy calf. John and I enjoyed a glass of wine as we sat in the settling dark outside the corral. We've named the calf "Dusk." We think he is a boy.
Of course, with a boy calf comes the knowledge that he will likely be in the freezer come this time next year. That would be sad news except that it also means Winston can continue to live. If he was throwing girls, Winston would have only about a year and a half before he would be headed for the freezer. Genetics. But for now, the babies are cute, the grass is green, and everyone is happy. What a great reminder to live in the moment.
While the cows have been busy, John and I have also been at work. We have been finishing the job our dear friend Eileen helped me start--weeding the blueberries. It is nasty work involving lots of pulling of prickly and thorny plants, digging with tools and hands, sweating, fire ants, and using muscles we don't generally use. However, I think Eileen would agree that it was actually fun. We chatted and planned and kibitzed and gossiped as we worked. When we finished, we stood back to enjoy the sight of clean rows and happy blueberry plants. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with farming that is all too rare in other professions.
Meanwhile, the chickens have also (finally) gotten to work. I don't know if it was the slaughtering we did last week or the feel of spring in the air, or the fresh grasshoppers that have started to appear but they are finally getting off their toofusses (or should I say they are getting on them) and laying some eggs. Yeah!!
Last week as I was working on the taxes and facing the yearly reality of trying to make a profit in farming (or just break even!), I was feeling a bit down but this week all things seem once again to be possible. Perhaps that is the real reason people like us continue to work so hard to make a farm--the unmitigated joy of new hope.