Good morning – let the stress begin!

Today was one of those days when being the owner of a 5-acre hobby farm was just about the last thing in the world I wanted to be.  The day began with one of our dogs waking our neighbors with her incessant, glass-shattering barking.  Apparently, the lambs (who seemed to me to be quite content grazing in the back field,) were in distress.  They weren’t.  The dog just thought they were.  She felt it was her duty to sound the alarm.  No amount of commanding, chasing, or cajoling could persuade her to stop.  Twenty-five minutes later, she finally paused for a breather.  By then, my nerves were frayed to the point of disintegration.  It was 6:24 A.M.

Shortly after that, morning feeding time began (for the family, that is.)  Then it was off to rewire 90 feet of fencing, mow the front field, and weed whack a small jungle of overgrowth behind the barn.  A trip to the garden center for all the items I forgot the day before and two arguments with my daughter over the virtues of owning lizards (guess which side I was on,) rounded out the morning.

These are the kinds of days that you’re sure – somewhere in the mess of it all – that there is a message just screaming to be heard.  But, under all the compost, potting soil, laundry, dirty dishes, and hundreds of feet of tangled fencing, I couldn’t hear a peep.

By five o’clock, the house was put back to its moderate but manageable state of disarray and tempers and bruised feelings(and muscles) had rebounded back to “almost right.”

My daughter ran out to the back pasture to help me bring the goats and lambs in for the night and, as she walked ahead of me with the animals following behind her in a perfect line of seniority, I saw my confident and independent 8-year-old taking charge of the evening chores.  The barn door was glowing brilliant in the late afternoon light and she was at peace on her farm, doing what she loved most.  The animals followed her able spirit into the cool, dark barn.  Finally, I heard the message that I had been struggling to hear all day – embrace the fitful starts and difficult hours.  Don’t shun them or try to make them less than they are.  For, at their end, there is always a place for a deep breath and a blissful resolution.

I hope your challenges are manageable and that you find that deep, private space of contentment when you finally push through.


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