Of Mice and Men

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Life on a farm subjects me to weather in ways that my previous life did not. Weather changes, dictates, sustains, destroys, and nourishes without consultation or apology. I like to make plans. But rested and ready to go, all hands on deck, and the rain is torrential. Exhausted, ready to drop, out of gas for the tractor, and the sun blazes warm, a breeze comes up and a long day is required. One year is not like another. One spring the lambs thrive, another old farmers shake their heads at all the losses.

Weather is just the tip of the iceberg, one little facet of the great untameable Mother Nature. I like the beauty, I hate the not knowing. Then again, that’s why we chose to have a farm. Things die that aren’t supposed to and cantaloupes sprout unbidden on a manure pile in the field. Ewes bred at the same time give birth two weeks apart, and unidentified living things, bugs and microbes, arrive constantly to help and harm. Out of control is amplified here to a decibel we cannot miss.

It makes me crazy. It keeps me sane. My husband and I have been discussing solutions to the latest fencing problems for weeks. After waiting out the weather, we finally thought we had it. Satisfied with our new barriers, we went in for lunch. By the time we’d finished eating, all the animals we separated were back together again. In the, “who’s in charge of the farm,” game, we had once again, underestimated the wits of our opponents.

Any step in any direction here reveals things that need doing. No matter how long we worked, there would still be more. It’s so far from my control that trying seems almost pointless. I hate that part.

Except when I let it baptize me.

When I walk by choice down the banks of desperate pretending, into the river of big, impossible, unending, unpredictable, uncertainty. When I let go of dry and the worry of what I’m not.  There, water over my head, something true touches me. I am no match for the seeming chaos. As threatening as that is, it is also a relief.

I am one person in a vast universe. A tiny part of a big picture. I don’t know what’s coming next. I couldn’t change it if I did. All kinds of seasons, physical, emotional, and spiritual, will come and go. Grass will grow and grass will die. I will rise each day and go about my business. Some days things will go as planned and other days not so much.

Holding tight on the banks, the fear of my smallness imprisons me. Baptized, it’s different. I’m a little mouse in a very large field, but I’m friends with the guy who owns the hawks.

I’ll forget and run for the banks again. But I’ll get baptized again too. Dripping and free, I’ll pitter patter around the field, come rain or shine.

4 Comments to Of Mice and Men

  1. A powerful testament. Such Glorious words.

  2. Rachel Bushnell says:

    Thank you for this wonderful picture of mice in a field. And of freedom and floating and letting go for today.

  3. Dan Jones says:

    I appreciate the blending of theology and agriculture. Both pictures resonate in my mind. Thanks.

  4. Jane Parker says:

    Dear little mouse,

    Thanks for sharing your vulnerability and courage and the reminder of your friendship with the guy who owns the hawks. What a wonderful picture.