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A path well travelled

I took the cover photo to this blog last week during our crazy rainy week.  After having no measurable rain since October it RAINED.  It felt like our crazy spring rains had arrived early (February).  Our dirt is heavy clay and doesn't absorb rain very well.  For several days it rained off and on, and then the day this photo was taken it rained all day long, the ground couldn't take any more and we started to flood.  

I know this is not a fantastic picture but I like it because on the left you can see there is a stream from the gate to the house.  I was standing at our house and looking toward the barns and thought about how many trips back and forth from the house to the barns we must have made to wear a path deep enough to create a stream in this rain.  It is a path well travelled.

We make that trip at the very least twice a day for feeding the animals.  In the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter I will also usually go out at lunch time to give them fresh water. Then my kids go out after school to play with the dog and chase a chicken or two.  Then there is kidding season, 2-3 barn checks during the night with a flashlight and every two hours during the day. 

This is not just a path well travelled, its a story of how much we love and care for our animals.  There are times I've have ran back to the house as fast as my legs will carry me with the announcement of a doe in delivery "hurry up, come on kids, it's happening".  Or once, the 5am barn check (pajamas under my carhart overalls) that revealed a doe in labor and next to her another doe delivering her second kid. 

I have had times I have walked back from the barn feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders as we had said good bye one last time to one of our sweet does.  I never want one of my animals to die alone so I always stay with them.  My husband too if he is home from work, he would prefer to stay himself and let me go to the house but there is something that won't let me escape it.  Its is awful to see death but a real part of farm life that brings a soberness and makes me realize my place in the universe and the bigger picture of this fleeting life.

The same with this path well travelled, there were people who came before us who travelled this path, and not doubt people after us.  So it is with life, we can travel our path, do the best we can and hope the story our path leaves behind is one of love and care.


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