Monday, November 12, 2007

Prayers of Thanksgiving

First, the goats love the woods in Meadowcreek.

Sometimes it's really hard to find the words to express a concept. There are lots of different ways of saying the same thing. If you take the time to look at the meaning behind the words, then communication opens up.
I believe that you can do anything you want enough to work hard on and focus on. I also believe that focus is an important way to move energy. I think it more for small things, but I suppose it works on a larger scale.

I was working with a friend in the garden last week and she queried, "I wonder if we are making global warming worse by focusing on the problem? With all those people putting thought into the problem of global warming, are they giving it energy to manifest?"
When I find myself focusing on a problem, I have learned to change my perspective to put energy and focus into the solution. As for global warming - I don't know how to get everybody on the planet focusing on solutions. If we could, I do believe we would accomplish a lot by just changing the mental energy of the planet.

First frost here at Meadowcreek, the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 7.

But for now, I just take it my small view at a time.

Yesterday, for instance...
We moved the goats down to Meadowcreek. My entire goat herd is down to just 11 goats. They are top quality animals, excellent producers, the product of years of selective breeding. And I love each one of them for the wonderful being that they are.
We have been blessed at Foxbriar with safety for most of our animals. Thanks be. I don't begrudge the occasional chicken that a predator can't resist. We lived in harmony with the coyotes, foxes and raccoons at Foxbriar - even though our neighbors lost livestock to predation. But we did live right there with them, sleeping outside in a camper not 20 feet from the barn. Now I am moving to a house, with the benefits - and the drawbacks. The house is only about 100 feet from the barn, but houses are more enclosed, harder to get out of and more sound proof.

I spent Saturday at a sheep and goat seminar at Heifer Ranch. I learned many important things. Check the Foxbriar website soon for those updates. But I heard so many stories of people losing their lambs and kids and adult goats to predators. One man told of shooting 17 coyotes, 3 lynx, using guard llamas and donkeys and still losing lambs.

So, I was terrified at the though of moving my precious flock down into the valley. I fretted, worried and worked myself into a state. Then I realized what I was doing. I was focusing on what I feared. I was putting energy into the negative.

I changed my focus and began to pray. "Keep my girls safe." "Please keep my goats safe from harm."
I envisioned the safe space, soft yellow light and pushed it out around the barn. With every breath I asked the Divine for protection for my little flock.
I had left the light on in the barn after checking on the goats at sunset. When we went out to milk about 7:30, they were obviously upset by the light. So when I was done milking, I put my trust in the Divine and let Shawn turn off the light.
The house was so noisy, with the fan, and the fire and the refrigerator. I propped open the kitchen window and turned my hearing that direction while I tried to focus on crocheting an order I have to fill. I've gotten used to sleeping outside, so the house felt confining. But I am trying to become civilized again, and I didn't want to upset the goats with my fretting, so I sat on the couch and breathed my prayers for the safety of my goat herd.

I woke up frequently last night and went to listen at the kitchen window. All was peaceful outside. The night birds and insects kept up their gentle cadence. About 3:30, one of the goats hollered and I ran to the door.
I opened it and listened. No more goat noises. The birds and the bugs chirped on.

I got the book I am currently reading out of the bedroom and curled up on the couch to read. Good science fiction, giving up on the illusion of sleeping and send my brain off to play on another planet. There are some really nice perks to having a house.

At daylight, Lena came out and peered through the kitchen window. "Well, they all look happy," she said.
And my heart sang prayers of thanksgiving!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The long road home

When we decide to move to Fox, my brother Scott looked at a map and said, "I didn't think you could get any more rural than you already were, but you did."

Well, now we've even gone better than Fox. Or worse, depending on how you look at it. I had stopped thinking of Fox as rural. After all, our farm is a mile away from our store and the store is right across from the Post Office and the city park. Heck, we even have trash pick up at the store.

A recent visit from my parents and a glimpse of our area through their eyes did remind me that we are pretty far off the beaten path.

But now, at least for the winter and maybe... who knows?

At the bottom of a very long (three-and-a-half miles, 20 minutes by truck), steep, rough, winding, narrow road is the glistening valley of Meadowcreek. We first looked at it in May and after my first trip down the road, I swore I would never drive it again. It took my two days to get my stomach straightened back out. That'll teach me to swear!

We are moving into the Spring House at Meadowcreek. The valley is a land trust with a varied and fascinating history. The directors of the Trust hope to establish an artist colony/sustainable agriculture/teaching facility.

There is already a small community in and around Meadowcreek. Lots of fascinating people with a variety of very interesting arts and farming. I am excited about getting to know everyone and spending time learning about the land and the people.

We are going to start with working on restoring the Spring House. It is the original homestead and has seen almost a century of wear. It has been loved and neglected and cared for by many people over the years. It is a unique house and an interesting challenge. I'll share more pictures and ask for your ideas as we settle in and start fixing.

In spite of the challenges of the road and other difficulties (there is no mail delivery in Meadowcreek, there aren't even addresses on the houses, UPS won't go down that road at all, the electricity is intermittent...) I think there is no more beautiful place on this planet. I am honored to be able to be a part of the dream that is Meadowcreek and hope that I can become a good steward of the land and a productive member of the community.

The gift of a rose from Meadowcreek, grown by nature for all of us this very morning. Happy November!