Living on our farm is a blessing. I honestly feel, that every day, I get more from this land and these animals than I give. I am lucky. And, I continue to learn-so, today's post is about the four "life lessons" The Farmstead has taught me...so far.
- Slow Down.
I am a bit of a tornado. I walk fast, I talk fast, I even pee fast. I'd argue that it's how I get so much done in a day, but I'd also argue that it's how you "miss" a big chunk of your life. The thing is, you can't rush it on the farm.First, the sheep won't have anything to do with me if I were to tear through them hell bent on feeding. It's only through standing in the middle of their field, moving slowly, did they eventually work up the courage to come say hi. That first time Athena leaned into my hand so I'd scratch her face, I thought I'd melt. It's the same with all the animals. They each need a bit of your quiet time..if I don't spend at least 15 minutes a day watching them live their lives I might miss a potential health issue (see: Olive Oil Enema for Chicken Constipation).
And so I sit, or I stand, but either way I stop and watch. Turkish has taken to resting at my feet which I love, and I can almost always count on Bootsy coming up for a snuggle. And so 15 minutes turns into 30 and I've added years to my life by reducing my stress (or so I like to think).
- Enjoy your Food.
I was surprised to learn that the pigs are not messy eaters. If given their own feed bowl they are quite content to smack away without a care in the world. Unlike The Lemon Goats (who make this incredible moaning sound when eating their grain...talk about enjoying your food), the pigs take their time. They'll burrow down in the bowl, get a mouthful, bring their heads back up, eyes slightly closed, and look around. What we put in our bodies is so important, but equally as important is taking the time to enjoy it. The more we work to grow our own food the more I realize, food is more than function. It's a beautiful process that should be celebrated...slowly.
Sometimes I wish the pigs were faster eaters since I have to chaperone their meal times against nosy sheep, but that's just the farm again, telling me to slow down. Inevitably one pig finishes before the other and then it's a different story. We are talking blood curdling squeals and shoving like you've never seen to fight for that last bit of chow...which brings me to my next lesson.
- If you don't ask, you don't get. The Lemon Goats are famous for this. If they want something, you know they want something. They are bossy and opinionated and always in your face. I wish I was more like this. Now I'm bossy and I'm opinonated, but...I hate asking for things. Which is silly. Life is about sharing and community and two way relationships. I think a lot of times people would want to say yes to my requests, but, I'm always to scared to ask. And so I'm going to be better about asking for support...except in cases where you realize...
- You're stronger than you think you are. Tonight one of the sheep got out. I spent a good 15 minutes trying to lure her back to her safe shelter before dark, but failed. I pulled out my phone and went to call the handsome man but he was in a meeting and couldn't pick up. So, I got back up (yes, I was on the ground), took a deep breath and tried again. What followed was a tumultuous and hectic 10 minutes where I wrestled her down, haltered her, then drug (literally drug) her cute little butt back to the shelter. Once she was free we both stayed in our spots staring at each other, breathing a little heavy, reflecting on the hours we had probably just lost from our lives (you know, from the stress).I had to go sit down...but I did it, all by myself. Boo-yah.