My friend T over at Wing and a Prayer Farm
hosted us for a round of lamb cuddling, and the Dogtor took some great video footage of the impossibly cute, 2 day old Shetland lambs. (Focus on the lambs and not my weird runner-farmer outfit). Warning
: the wholesomeness of this video may be too much for you. Do not watch if you have a dark soul. Or do watch and be temporarily cured.
Let me tell you, there are few things better than cuddling a lamb. You should seek out this opportunity right away. I left feeling more at peace with the world, and to a woman with skyrocketing environmental anxiety
, that's no small thing.
I also want lambs. God bless their gentle, wooly souls.
Just get outside. It solves nearly everything.
Sprinkler jumping is a quintessential way to fall in love with outside time, right?
I had to work hard this winter to show my girls a positive relationships with the outdoors, teach them to love the natural world. Now that the sun has been out and the garden is growing, we're all having an easier time with it.
Always in the back of my mind, a quote from Stephen Jay Gould: "We will not fight to save what we do not love."
Ploughshares put up a lovely piece
about me, the Dogtor, and our pets.
As an aside, I should admit that I really played that "pregnant women shouldn't change the litterbox" card, and, two years after having my last child, may still be playing it.
Ever imagined what havoc climate change might wreak on hospitality? Picture me serving you up a slim portion of turkey jerky, or in the near term slapping your wrist with my spatula when you run the water too long.
What to do with all this environmental anxiety? Tune it out or take it in? What to say to your daughter when she dreams about becoming a mother, and you worry that the quality of her life on earth may not lend itself to such a decision?My thoughts here, at The Rumpus.
There's also a gorgeous essay by Charles Mann up on Orion
about the "success" of species and what it means for homo sapiens that we've become so "successful." The last paragraph, to me, is such an achievement: Our record of success is not that long. In any case, past successes are no guarantee of the future. But it is terrible to suppose that we could get so many other things right and get this one wrong. To have the imagination to see our potential end, but not have the imagination to avoid it. To send humankind to the moon but fail to pay attention to the earth. To have the potential but to be unable to use it—to be, in the end, no different from the protozoa in the petri dish. It would be evidence that Lynn Margulis’s most dismissive beliefs had been right after all. For all our speed and voraciousness, our changeable sparkle and flash, we would be, at last count, not an especially interesting species.
So the Dogtor and I went to a 90s party last weekend. Doesn't he make an amazing Slash?
The best part happened on the way to the car: Axl:
Slash, do you think you could hold the deviled eggs?Slash, method acting
: (grunts yes)
The weirdest part of the 90s party was hearing Fiona Apple's Criminal
, because it reminded me of this, uh, girl I used to know who drove around South Carolina in her rattling blue Honda, worrying about everything, so full of angst, ideas, and rage. Just on the verge of explosion, every day. I just want to give her a hug and say: Honey, it's all going to work out okay. You can drink a little less vodka, cry fewer tears, fight with less people about the theory of evolution. And get this?! You actually become a writer. No, really. You do. No, not a poet, so you can stop writing those heinous poems - your mom is totally going to find them one day, or maybe your kids, so just stop leaving humility-bombs in your personal records. Stop now.And get this too - you're going to have a weird moment, like fifteen years from now, when you're dressed as Axl Rose, listening to what used to be your high school rage song, eating a deviled egg that came out of your hen on the farm you own twelve hours away from the place you grew up. You're talking pre-school politics with friends. Your husband is dressed as Slash and eating macaroni and cheese. Your two kids are with the babysitter.
The girl in the blue Honda rolls her eyes, is secretly interested and amazed, and goes back to writing dark poetry, and plasters the Darwin fish on the back of her car, and loses another decade to self-doubt.
Girl! I told you!
Also, the mom in me totally wants to feed Fiona a pie. But if she released that song tomorrow, I'd go crazy for it all over again.
Before I moved to Vermont, I didn't notice these things: bird calls, migration patterns, the day the barn swallows or robins showed up in a yard. Maybe it's because I was estranged from nature; maybe it's because I hadn't yet moved to a place where you become all-out desperate for spring. But for the last four years, the return of the peepers has been an important milestone for me, and yesterday "our" swamp (everyone should have a go-to swamp) came alive. A chorus of peepers and red-winged blackbird calls.
And my unstable cinematography.
I was just admiring an artist friend's
picture of Putin the other day, only to discover I had attempted the same photo, un-ironically.
I don't know what this says about me. But I think Putin is soul-searching with his chick, and I think I'm merely admiring this chick's head-puff.
...I just never knew it was my dream until my dear friend Farmer Tam asked me to "unofficially officiate" the marriage of her peacock Figaro and his two new brides, The Susannahs. (Check out Tam's lovely blog
and amazing yarn and fleece
I'm a Justice of the Peace here - but I've never done much officiating. I'm glad this was my first union. The peafowl were understanding that I wrote the script the morning of the event.
The best part of this day was the invite to wear your Farmyard Finest (you should have SEEN the getups!). No, it was the singing. The live music. Or the blue sky. The coconut cupcakes.
Let's just say people in Vermont - we know how to make our own fun.
Feeling grateful to be a part of a loving, eccentric community up here. Make art, celebrate love, and find an excuse to bake. (I made these
- chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.)
There's always a time of year - this is it - when I turn to the Dogtor and tell him that it's his fault I'm living in a cold place, that I never intended to live in a cold place, or above the Mason Dixon Line for that matter, and WHY IS IT SO COLD IN APRIL. Etc.
Rest assured, in one week I'll be back to saying: I'm so proud to be a Vermonter. There's no place I'd rather live. How did I ever live without dirt roads and goats?
But there's this one time of year where I turn into Bitter Southern Megan and rail against the late snow. I'm pretty much used to it - God, sometimes I even like being cold now (WHAT?!) - but when we first moved here I used to feel like an exotic species, like some capuchin monkey released in the Vermont wild. (Digression: Didn't the Biebs just get in trouble for taking a capuchin monkey into Europe? Just wait until they both reach sexual maturity. Ask Bubbles
about how that went.)
So, I'm remembering that time that I took Bo to my hometown - Rocky Mount, NC - and made him eat grits out of a styrofoam cup at Central Cafe downtown (total time warp, that place). Picture the scene: Quaker Vermonter. Ancient ladies talking potato salad recipes in the booth next door. Waitress calling you Honey. Instant coffee. More starchy white stuff than you know what to do with.
Still not ready to call it even.
You guys. The Winter Blues. I have them so bad, even if it isn't winter anymore. Today there was a windchill of around 15 degrees. Snow swirled. The sky was gray. A bright burst of sun is an exception to the rule. My little southern heart is miserable, shriveled.
I'm shoveling Vitamin D into my mouth and trying to stay positive, but things are looking bleak. I just want to eat dinner outside. To run without having to thaw myself out in the shower afterward. To have fat little girls in towels sprinting by my weedy garden.
A friend wrote to me about how this spring would feel emotional. It's hard-earned. Spring is always that way for me. I look forward to it so desperately, but it also gives me this whiff of PTSD, because many hard things have happened in spring: losing someone I love, giving birth twice. Spring has meant profound sadness, pain, sleepless nights, muddy roads, late snows...and also the great joy of big loves and new growth and garden planning and bright sun.
I guess it's an annual moment of catharsis for me. I'm led to the brink. I get sad. And then there is a purging of sorts, a kind of renewal.
So enough of that New Age-y perspective. Let me climb out of my purple sweatsuit and put the healing crystals aside and GET OUTSIDE IN MY FLIPPIN' GARDEN.