Two weeks ago I pushed the pause button on my blogging hobby … I’ve missed it. And I think I’m back. My intuition was telling me in October that there was a change in the wind. It wasn’t the blog per se … It turned out that both Darby and Paco were struggling with some health issues. Darby seems to have been set right in short order. Paco … not so easily. It was very difficult to take ‘beautiful and upbeat’ pictures when my heart strings were so stretched.
The whole experience of these past few weeks has led me to face some pretty tough issues. Living with large animals – caring for them – and about them – is not only a big investment of time – it is an investment of heart. My days have been made richer for their presence. The flipside is when things go wrong … my heart will break. Especially when it comes to Paco.
Paco has developed a growth between his cheek and his teeth. It makes eating awkward and he is always conscious of the strangeness of sensation on that side of his face. We thought we were dealing with an infected tooth – and it was a sobering revelation that things were much more complicated than that.
Two weeks of vet visits, antibiotics, sedatives, manipulations of his jaw … all put the poor guy right off his food. My heart broke as I watched him hang his head and struggle to make it up and down the hill. I came to the terrible realization that at some point I was going to have to make the call to end his suffering. Ede and I were both walking wounded … I don’t think I’ve had a ‘longer week’ in the two years since I retired. Paco has rallied … he is back to eating and I even had the pure joy of watching him running with the herd yesterday afternoon – up and down that hillside – kicking up his hooves. But now I know … I know even the preamble we have dealt with over these few days broke my spirit. It’s been a BIG LESSON. I will have to at some point deal with the loss of any one of our beautiful. hoofed children…
And there pops up my ‘blogger’s’ question … Do I write about the sad parts of our life with the creatures here at The Meadow? Or am I posting pretty pictures each day…? Who am I writing for?
Here is the result of my thinking. Each day, if I stop to think before I fall asleep, I count my blessings. And topping the list every time are the ways nature has touched my day. The smell of the air, the feel of the earth, the head butt of a loving cat, the songs of the birds, the braying of donkeys (even Bella!), the buttery sunlight at dawn or dusk … That is what this blog is about. Sometimes the people who visit and plug into my chores show up here. Sometimes the days can be sad – extremely sad. But mostly not. It is a space I use to show my gratitude for small wonders. By taking pictures, writing down my thoughts, researching about things that are uncommon or new … I celebrate the mere fact of being. It is a good process for me.
And so … out of the ashes of this first painful burning flame of disaster and heartbreak I am picking myself up, dusting myself off and daring to share the ups and downs of my little but appreciated life here at the Meadow.