** I actually wrote this about 6 weeks ago and never posted it. I thought I would share it with you now.**
These last few weeks have been pretty rough on the farm. I've shed a lot of tears. Unfortunately they were tears of loss and sorrow brought on by events that were totally out of my control. Things that I couldn't have seen coming, things I couldn't prevent, and animals that I couldn't save.
All my life animals have been such a huge part of it. I've always felt that through the love, understanding, and compassion of the animals around me that my heart felt whole.
The beginning of our decline started a few weeks ago with the sudden and tragic death of our beloved Hog Island ewe Eleanor. Eleanor was our favorite of the flock. Always the first to greet you, loved to be petted by us and strangers alike. She tugged at your heart if you asked for it or not. Losing her the way we did was a hard lesson. A lesson that like a knife in my gut. But all of us picked ourselves up, buried her like she deserved.
Last week we lost 2 lambs within an hour. One was stillborn and the other was a twin that we don't really know why/how he died. There are a lot of things that we will never understand.
These are the times when you start to say "I don't know how much more of this I can take!" Just when I start to think that maybe I'm not cut out for this - I find out that a lot of my "farming friends" are having the same deaths (tragic or unexplained). Not that it makes it any better, but at least I know that I'm not alone.
The latest loss has hit me the hardest. It really doesn't have anything to do with my "farm animals". Overnight Saturday we lost our beloved Simba, an orange tabby cat who belonged to my 9 year old daughter. Simba slept with her every night. He hated it when she was gone. A vet friend and I tried to save him, but we were unable to. Loses like these hurt the worse. Simba was one that we were all attached to. A constant figure in our lives and in our house.
Today I buried Simba over Marissa's grave in the pasture. As soon as I started digging his grave, the horses appeared out of nowhere and came to me. They all stood around me and next to me while I worked. Normally, the flinging of dirt and digging with a shovel would cause them all to run away. But not today. They stood quietly and peacefully by my side just watching me and being there with me. As soon as the last shovel full of dirt filled in Simba's grave, the horses quietly left and went back to grazing.
I can't explain what I had just witnessed. But what I do know is that our animals are quite bonded to me and are able to feel those times that I need the love and support. This alone really helps for me to realize that what I'm doing for these animals is right. They have the ultimate respect for me and what I do for them and that apparently I'm doing it correctly.
Sorry if I rambled a little bit. I guess it's just a little overwhelming sometimes when you experience something so breathtaking.
Rising Phoenix Farm
14093 Madison Pike
Morning View, KY 41063