August Abundance

Rain, friends, rain! It is a drizzly Saturday in Bow and I am savoring this change in the weather. Even though it is not a lot of accumulation, we will take what we can get. This August rain brings a certain slowness and I am enjoying a morning in the house to think and reflect a bit. We still have a lot of summer left, but we are at the beginning of the end for our cheese and milking season. The ewes will be dried off in September, school will start, and we will transition into our fall routines.

Last night we had to call the vet after hours. Normally, he is here for sheep-related things. We have regular flock checks throughout the year to make sure our ewes and lambs are staying healthy. However,  yesterday he worked with Audrey for the first time. In the almost ten years since we have had her, she has never had any health issues. She is 20 and it’s amazing to think that Audrey and her brother July (18-yrs-old) have spent half of their lives here.

Audrey had not gotten up or eaten all day. The girls, almost as tall as the fence now, watched as the vet inspected her body and mouth. They have been raised with all the animals on the farm. Seeing them standing there, observing carefully and with concern, filled me with gratitude for the time that has passed. The bonds that have been made. Yes, there has been loss along the way and the last 18 months have had many unique challenges both at home and in our community. However, August is always a good reminder of abundance.

The garden is overflowing–apples, pears, plums, grapes, herbs, vegetables, soon squash. The sheep’s milk continues to flow. But, when I talk about abundance I am thinking more of a feeling than these physical things. I know the word abundance gets thrown around a lot, and sometimes overused in strange ways. I try to use it sparingly, but it seems appropriate in these early days of August. For me, it means to have more than I need or expected. Beyond enough. Given all the lack and sacrifice that goes along with a busy farm season (ie no vacations, many long, long days!!) and this ongoing pandemic, it was helpful to take a moment to feel that abundance. To take it in and acknowledge it and set all the stress and worry aside.

The vet suspects it is a hoof or stomach issue, nothing too serious but definitely something we have to monitor. He left us with some daily pain medication. Today Audrey is up and eating again and we are keeping a close eye on her. I can’t really imagine the farm without her or July—they have become such essential fixtures here. They are part of the family. Yes, they guard the farm, but they also offer so much more. And these days, I don’t take the ” so much more” for granted.

May you feel and appreciate the abundance around you. Be well, and enjoy this rain!