Tag Archiv: birth

Being born


It is no small thing to be born. We all got to do it once. Being born means coming very close to dying. It’s not always sunshine and beautiful. It hurts. And things die. People, lambs, chicks. Spring on a farm is a mini maternity ward. It’s new life, but there’s death in the air too.

Every day, it’s true that we could die. So could our children, our husbands, or our best friends, but we don’t like that in our air. We die when we have to, but otherwise we avoid remembering it exists. Mourning periods with different clothing, visible signs of grief are a thing of the past or a thing for other cultures. We don’t prepare dead bodies in their homes. As soon as people die, they’re whisked away to the funeral home until it’s time to bury them. I don’t think we are trying to be disrespectful, we’re trying to forget that life is fragile and death inevitable.

I watched some lambs be born with Girl two beside me. I didn’t know if the lamb, whose foot we saw go in and out and in and out before it finally came out, would be alive. Sometimes they are not. My daughter cheered when at last it emerged alive. But I think I found it more beautiful than she did when the lambs sputtered and cried, because I knew more about the thin line that separates survival from death. And the miracle that happens when something steps across it.

Death as destruction is rightfully abhorred. Death as cessation of life is a gift we do not comprehend. This also makes birth beautiful. Perhaps I am speaking for myself; I glimpse that death is merely the end of what we know, but most of the time, I fail to understand it. Yet birth, the gift of life, this I can comprehend. There was nothing. Now there is something. Breathing, moving, living.

In every birth, we celebrate our own. A tiny vision, fresh and new as the day we were born. Not yet resigned to anything. Happy to be who we are. Curious to see who we might become. A furious hope still clinging to our skin, we are a little bit born again.

One Week Early



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Girl one, from outside: Mom, we don’t have to worry about when Anabelle is having her calf anymore.

Me, not getting it: Why’s that?

Girl one: She already had it.

Me still not getting it: Are you sure?

Girl one pointing: Look


So very, very happy news. Anabelle pulled this off in twenty minutes. She was lying down pregnant when we drove in from seeing friends, and calf was out by the time we changed our clothes to go outside. All pictures are of few minutes old calf with very new mom. In case you can’t tell, we bred Miss mostly Charolais (pronounced Shar-lay) Anabelle with a Black Angus. And also in case you can’t tell, Black Angus cows can be the colour of night. Which would, by the way make an excellent name for the new calf, but it has been rejected. A few hours of political jockeying was followed by an intense hour of name discussions. We finally went to bed. Rejected names include:  Joey, Pierre, Felix, Night, Knight, Prince, Sir Eliot, Tumnus, Obsidian, Space, Pupil, Burger, Burnt Marshmellow, and others. Under strong consideration are Buster and King, although there is a lobby going for a name we haven’t thought of yet as long as it isn’t Buster or King.