Inspired by an Instagram post by my friend, neighbor, and fellow goatherd Kirsten of Hostile Valley Farm, I took a few minutes the other day to wrap some scarves around our goats. For your amusement and any stress relief you might find in this. If their modeling careers take off it will be a perfect way to make wethers financially sustainable.
I saw a quote today about the desire to be well informed and the desire to be sane being currently at odds with one another. With every piece of news I read today I couldn't help but fixate on the idea of humankind's capacity to harm. Harm each other, harm the environment, society, themselves...a seemingly endless list. It's overwhelmingly disappointing and just so sad.
Like many people, I'm working on my personal plan for how to effect positive change in the world; how to survive and, with hope, thrive in these times. Meanwhile I'm taking comfort from our animal companions and livestock around us here on the farm. Therapy I don't have to pay for but that does require a varying level of care and feeding. Today I lingered a little longer during chores and work breaks to capture a day in the life of these creatures that bring me a level of sanity when bad news piles on top of more bad news. I'm sharing in case others might get some comfort from these characters too.
Come out if you can!
This time of year is a heartbreaker. That late summer golden afternoon light. The bounty of the garden coming into its own. The change in the air that tells you summer is waning and fall is on its way. Heat begins to give way to a chill in the air. Excitement for cooler days but grief at how quickly that Maine summer magic leaves us. So it is and so it goes. No better time than the present for a spin around the garden and yard to try and capture this in-between time.
August marks the beginning of our third year here in Palermo. I'm looking forward to seeing how our gardens transform in the coming years. I'll be sure to share the progress.
As this summer draws to a close I've been thinking about important milestones and significant anniversaries. Ten years ago this summer Mike and I got married. 15 years ago today (happy anniversary!) my younger sister, Anna, got married to her husband Tom. And twenty years ago this summer I first went to St. Petersburg, Russia on a college study abroad program, staying through the end of the year. We all have formative experiences and my first several months in Russia were definitely that. Because of that first time there I returned a few years later to live and work. My experiences in Russia were wonderful, exciting, illuminating, terrible, fascinating, amazing, frightening...basically all the adjectives. I made several incredible friendships, some of which have lasted, some of which are pleasant memories that have faded but are not forgotten. I fell in love for the first time. I saw dead bodies for the first time, casualties of a sometimes violent and ruthless era in post-Soviet life. I took risks that only young people take and was fortunate to walk away with stories to tell and not cautionary tales. I was filled with a deep wanderlust in my twenties and that first summer in 'Peterburg' helped to fuel that spirit. Traveling fed my soul until it didn't anymore and now twenty years later I'm happily living a good life on our farm in Palermo, Maine, two miles from my childhood home. I'll return to Russia again someday but until then I can look back through photos, surround myself in memories and be filled with gratitude for the experiences that led me to where I find myself today. And isn't that really what this life is about?