Friday, July 30, 2010

Meditation on Loss

This is a Sandhill Crane. Not one of our Sandhill Cranes, because they're shy, and it's difficult to get a good photo of them, but I wanted you to get a close look, because this year we have had the good fortune of becoming home to a pair of these stunning, almost prehistoric looking birds. We see them every day, stalking through the hay fields together with their elegant gait. They hatched a baby, and the gawky, downy youngster was a delight to behold. I got happy every time I saw the little family. And then last week, something was definitely wrong. Their cries are loud - almost like machinery - but this was unprecedented. Here's what I heard:

For hours.

Finally, I spotted them in the marsh, flying up and diving down, throating this distress call over and over. Something - a raccoon or a fisher, perhaps - had attacked their little one. They cried into the night. The next morning, I heard them overhead, calling to each other, the baby absent. And I have to say, though I like to think I've hardened a bit to these kinds of things after six years on a farm, as a mother of an only child, I wept for them.

A few days ago we got the news that our tender, crinkly-eyed neighbor Dave Snyder lost his only son in a tragic drowning accident. Dave Jr. was 17. Though we don't have any shots of Dave on this blog, in this photo Owain is standing on his snow plow, because he likes to let the kids come and hang out on his rigs, which are most impressive and boy-friendly.

Though I had only met Dave Jr. a few times - most notably when we first moved here and Dave came to look at a defunct outdoor wood stove of ours, Davey his silent shadow, and our last Christmas party, wherein I marveled at how Davey had matured: grown a beard, become more outgoing while still clinging to a palpable, open-faced sweetness.

We attended his memorial service today, and all I could think was why? No matter how inevitable - we know it just happens sometimes - it feels unnatural and wrong to have a child die. To lose him in the belly of a dark lake. I watched Dave today thinking about how deep it would cut to have my own boy taken from me, all the time knowing that he'd had 13 more years to love his son.

We grieve with him.

Summer Sights

We're way past due for a summer photo update! Here's a glimpse of what's growing and what's going on at Lostview Farm...

Calendula, echinacea, yarrow, nasturtium and spinach in the upper yard

Downy sunflowers decorate the quonset hut

Phelan decorates the driveway

Bittersweet blanketing the garage

Volunteer squash simply taking over the compost!

Owain on the new tree slide

Ellis loving GrandMary and Nana

Boompa celebrating 66 years with his biggest fans

Could a mama love a baby boy any more than this?

It's a good time of year here at Lostview. Busy and rich and rewarding and beautiful and FUN.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Spin!

In case you ever wondered how to do "the spin" here's a little tutorial video: