Making a very special effort to focus on the fun, to be positive, to share light and love. There’s too much yuck in the news and world, of late, and I’m a firm believer in love conquers all.
Small things are making me weary on the farm. Sheep and lambs that keep escaping. I can’t figure out what to do with them because, actually, right now, a lamb is baahing outside my window and he belongs with his mom in the pasture down the way. Why is he outside my window? Why is he not down the way?
Every time I have moved the sheep, of late, there has been some small thing that throws a wrench in the works. There is a fair amount of finesse when you’re moving the animals. Momentum is important. Don’t hesitate or they’ll know they’re being led to your will. Just go. But on the other end, the gate has to be open where you’re leading them. And when you get them to where they’re going, to be in two places at once is very tricky. I haven’t figured out how to lead them in and then go back and close the gate without them following me to the gate. This morning, an unsuspecting egg customer pulled up to buy eggs and didn’t know he was going to be in charge of closing the gate, very quickly behind 50 charging sheep.
The weeds and the overgrown thistles & burdocks make me weary. I can’t keep up with keeping them down. I need to find my machete, I don’t know where it is. Folks, you want to know where your machete is. It’s the right tool for the job. Also, you want to know where your machete is. Granted, it’s dull as heck. But I need to know where that damn thing is for peace of mind.
The poultry are giving me grief. There is so much acreage for the freeranging fowl to forage. Yet they choose the back deck where I am trying to grow patio tomatoes. And thanks, hens, for eating my lettuce crop for the third time.
Turkeys, the Jesus-fowl, are in a new place. They’re sharing the garden with Princess Peppermint, the American Guinea Hog. They’re not always very bright, though. As in, there is food for them to eat in the little duck house that has a small door so that Peppy cannot access it. But they forget the food is in there and whistle and peep loudly for food. And they’re discovering ways out. I have to be several steps ahead of them as this is the training-part of their lives. If they learn that there is a back porch or a front porch on my house, I am doomed. I will have an adorable flock staring at me through the windows at all hours, depositing giant amounts of manure on the porch and deck.
And that is the small stuff.
We’re all aware of the big stuff. It’s a grand old time for media in this age, isn’t it? So, yeah, we’re all aware of the big stuff.
Well today I made a large effort to contemplate sweetly while I picked dye-vat flowers from my surrounds. I had a thought -if I was blind, would I care at all about natural dyeing? Yes, I probably would care, but would I participate? Not likely.
However, just because I might not see color as a blind person, there are so many other senses that are aroused when you’re a natural dyer.
The experience of foraging:
- hot, steamy afternoon
panting, playful pup
feathery, soft foliage of Achillea millefolium, nubby, bumpy flower heads
pungent, silky marigold petals
lacy, silky Queen Anne’s Lace flower heads, their cup-like shape as they tire, their flared and fancy doilies when they’re fresh
sticky, dainty calendula petals and their healing scents
The ritual of the care of the harvest:
- method while separating and spacing like matter
quiet, birdsong, pups panting, rooster crowing, sheep baahing, donkeys braying
relief, fulfillment, satisfaction of accomplishment
For my heart:
- natural materials acquired through planting and foraging
deadheading the flowers and they’ll rebloom
coloring our own wool with our own dye matter
leaving a low-impact ecological footprint in the creation of beautiful garments
doing a good thing in a sometimes-world-gone-crazy
It is true, though, I did derive so much joy through my eyes. But I also contemplated a lesson that the gorgeous display of my harvest taught me. How could any of us be happy in a world that is all one color? How could we be living a full life in a world of sameness?
I’m so much better off, so much richer because the world has so many differences. Thank God for different colors, for different textures, for different aromas and for all good things.
Now I’m going to go see why that lamb is baahing so loudly.