Last summer was hard. Really really hard. Mark was gone for six weeks in June and July and mom and I fed and wrangled four kids while raising chickens, turkeys, sheep, a Jersey Calf and two horses. If I could only convey the the frustration and sometimes pure anger I felt as I sprinted until my lungs burned chasing our vagrant lambs from the neighbors field multiple times a day. Makeshift wire and baling twine fences. Garden failures and manure hauling. And then Hurricane Arthur hit and we were stuck in the hottest, driest time of the summer with no electricity or water and livestock that were drinking gallons a day. We hauled water for five days, from a creek down the highway, only occasionally remembering to bathe ourselves while we were there. I think back and shudder.
I do, however, recall later in the fall, running to our back field barefoot for some odd reason (possibly a sheep) and rather than feeling winded, feeling completely alive. My pounding heart didn’t hurt and my lungs didn’t burn. Not only had I made four people but I’d kept a farm running and my body was more alive than it had ever felt. I found photos from the hurricane outage and laugh at what at one time I would have thought would require a gym membership and tanning salon. Right now I feel like I’ll never feel that fit again. That alive. After months, it seems, of horrifying morning sickness, running up the stairs leaves me gasping for air. I think ahead to this year full of farm chaos and I know it’s going to be so hard. But maybe life is actually what it’s supposed to be when it’s really really hard.