Resurrection and Renewal
Snow fell in the form of rain last week.
A crocus bloomed in the most protected corner of my yard.
The daffodils are stretching their leaves, preparing to pop yellow blazes along my rock wall soon.
Cows croon to their calves and ewes waddle, still packing their lambs, but not for long.
Life wakes up.
The waterline that spent 34 days below zero during February and March cracked and needs to be repaired. It is watering the grass right now, but I’d like to be able to direct that water to specific locations once again.
The tractor I drove into a mud hole needs to be fished out. While I’m shoveling, I think I’ll build a reservoir right at that location. It will fill naturally and maybe I’ll avoid that mud hole next time. Besides, I will already have scooped out the sticky clay soil that swells enough to create a better waterproof barrier than plastic.
Bills need to be paid despite commodity prices that challenge even the best producers to break even. My expenses have increased 36 percent in the past five years while cattle prices have dropped 12 percent.
Farmers are climbing an even higher peak to reach profitability. Global trade and just a handful of big players keep the profitability peak steep while suppliers tease farmers with seed and fertilizer inputs priced barely within reach.
If everything goes just right for a commodity farmer or rancher, the bills can be paid. The last time everything went just right for farmers was 2012. The next year, suppliers raised input prices.
Spring doesn’t worry about the economy, though.
Lambs and steers need to be trucked to the processor so people will enjoy chops and steaks this summer.
The electric fence that repels grizzly bears needs to be reinforced.
The muddy corral needs to be drained. Again.
The right side of my brain is clicking along with more words to put to paper.
Life wakes up, not just at the ranch, but across mountains and valleys, towns and cities, office and outside.
Looking down on us from above, the dawn of spring must look like an ant hill that just got kicked.
Kids at school fidget.
Adults find problems to complain about.
New Year’s resolutions to never spend money ever again go by the wayside.
Retailers and coffee shops get busy again.
The global economy picks winners and losers.
The hectic pace stresses all of us.
Our heads swivel as yet another controversy comes flying in from left field.
We grip the steering wheel as we race down the highway; if only we could go faster we could get it all done.
Dramas fill our heads until we quit listening when our kids start talking theirs.
We inadvertently step on a crocus.
And then, Easter comes.
Easter is the penultimate Christian holiday, but it is even more than that.
This day of resurrection speaks to the rhythm of life, and to renewal.
The chaos of living is bookended by birth and death.
The rhythms of natural life are constant.
Easter reminds us to muffle the chaos by noticing the rhythms we see and touch and hear and feel every moment.
Those rhythms bring tranquility.
The colors of the morning sunrise.
The meadowlarks announcing the day.
The grass growing an inch on a warm afternoon.
The scent of equine breath mixed with a saddle’s leather.
The horse stepping quietly so not to wake a sleeping newborn calf.
The peace of the rhythms that never change, if only I notice them.
If I breathe. And listen.
The land grounds me.
My wish for you this week of resurrection and renewal is to feel the tranquility of the rhythms of the land.