Finally! with waking up to 66 degrees my paralysis is wearing off. My lungs are filling with cool air and that is a beautiful feeling, like drinking ice cold water when thirst seems unquenchable. I survived. Survived the heat and the heaviness not being able to work fast and efficiently brings, when I know I am capable of more but cannot reach the energy to continue. Once I surrendered and started taking naps in the afternoon, my attitude and my energy started to slowly come back. Most of the animals did remarkably well. The chickens had a sprinkler in their yard and the rogue hens camped out under the air conditioner that kept a nice supply of moisture and shade for to hang out in.
Sadly we lost one of our cows, Merry. She was given to us by some friends with the other cows that we bought from them. Merry was smaller than all the rest and had a rough start in life, being born blind and sickly. Our friends bottle fed Merry and nursed her to health, she was a sweet little cow, loved to be pet and groomed. Merry was weakened greatly by the heat. There is ample shade and ponds for the cows and llamas to cool off in but Merry had contracted pneumonia. We moved her to a pen by the house so we could treat her and make sure she got plenty of water and food. But she just continued to get weaker and weaker till eventually she died.
It never gets easier losing an animal, and nor should it. I know many who raise animals that have desensitized. And now that I really think about it maybe in some ways I have. Not that I don’t value my animals life and not that I don’t truly love all of my animals but I realize the truth of the matter and realize that on a farm I am more susceptible to life and death because that is the concentration of my existence. When I lived in Seattle the concentration of my existence was recipes and heat and food, just different. My dog Liebe died at 13 years old. I was absolutely devastated for years. Death was so foreign to me. Now I view death differently as more natural. Not an affliction but a normal part of living. Is this desensitized? Or is it recognizing the balance living brings?
I have thought about not exposing myself to such things. Not having animals, namely goats, sheep, cows, chickens, llamas. I think about this regularly. Do I want to be exposed to the inevitable death of one of my animals? Death that occurs regardless that they were treated like pets, or members of my family? in spite of being respected and honored and loved and cared for? I haven’t come up with an answer that squares my pain when I lose an animal, the pain has changed. But raising animals is important to me. I feel at peace in my life working with them, milking, making cheese, and yes providing meat for myself. So this is a subject I think about often, I don’t think I will ever come up with a belief system that I can pound my fist down on the table with righteous indignation. I think I’ll always remain humble on this matter and continue to think and reflect.