A Weird Spring
It’s the middle of May. We should be busy lambing.
In a few weeks the pasture should be alive with baby lambs scampering everywhere.
It won’t be.
Sigh. I know we made the right choice; I just didn’t think I’d regret it so much.
Because Melissa had been scheduled for neck fusion surgery during the winter, with 4-6 months of recovery, we couldn’t see her running around the pasture chasing sheep, a normal part of lambing. So we made the hard choice: December 17, our usual breeding date, was just another day on this farm.
In fact, we sold Erik, the ram, to a nice man who has been looking for Erik’s specific breed mix.
So there was no sheep sex on the farm.
No sheep sex in December, of course, means no lambs in the spring.
Melissa didn’t have the surgery, so we could have bred the sheep. But unless someone has a time machine handy, there’s no going back. Instead, I’m working hard on a manuscript and starting a freelance writing job. Melissa is Census Crew Leader Extraordinaire, and Farmer in Charge of Baby Calves. The sheep are out on pasture, hopefully grateful for a year’s rest.
Our friend Mary H., who helps every year with lambing, emailed yesterday, in the middle of a serious case of ‘lambie doodle’ withdrawal.
Melissa and I might be experiencing similar symptoms. And one thing that amazed me: When lambing comes, we stop all other activities. Life narrows down to nothing but the sheep. I never realized how important this ‘time off’ was until this year, when we don’t have it. There’s no break from the busy, no change in routine or focus. Who knew that could be so important?
So to help Mary, Melissa, and me get through this withdrawal period, here are some previous years’ lambie doodles:
So you’d think it’d be quiet out here on Rising Moon Farm without lambs, but the calves talk to us. The sheep baa as we walk by. Friends come every weekend to care for the vineyard and the air is full of their laughter.
My mom helps us in the garden and we talk about how she had no idea how to plant potatoes, yet when she dropped to her knees, she suddenly made a hill for five plants with a hole in the middle for water. It’d been at least sixty years since she’d planted potatoes, but her body remembered. My dad stops by with his bike and convinces us to take an hour off the farm to go biking. Kathy comes to tend the bees and entertain us with bee and bear and cat stories. The barn swallows chatter all day long, and it’s a happy sound.
So while we don’t have lambs, we’re not lonely.
May your spring be filled with equally happy sounds.