I walked across the pasture and found the young animals on the hill where a young boy once had a dream of building his own house. A dream unfulfilled. A field still with grass and flowers, witnessing of solitude.
Perhaps it is a too strong word, paradise… However there are moments when beauty reveals itself a little more than usual, the response is awe and joy. I was late with work and took the opportunity to give the cows water during the evening. Standing there while the drinking troughs were filling up, I witnessed the evening play of the lambs. I love to see them play. The sun was setting and shone with a warm yellow light on the hill while the lambs, quite unaware of the light, had found a stone of interest to climb up and jump off from. The restfulness of the windless evening the light green colour of the newly sprung leaves and the evening light, created a sense of paradise; beauty, peace, joy, and of course goodness.
Nature is shifting its appearance, winter is in the process to change into spring. Late winter and early spring are both present: The snow is still here and the nights are cold, but the sun warms the ground during the day, softening the ground and melting the snow, making it slowly give way to earth and dead straw.
This evening gave perhaps the most beautiful sign of spring. I was out walking with Toby, and as we were almost home I heard the blackbird a little hesitantly, in the forest. We stopped and listened, rejoicing in the beautiful song.
Yesterday he came much closer and there was no hesitation in his voice. I was out removing old fence net in the corner of a big field some hundred metres from the farm. The fence streched along the forest edge of the pine forest on the other side of the ditch. As I stood there with the sun shining on my left side, he began to sing in a tree very close to me. His song echoed in the forest and together with the sunshine, epitomized the reasons why I have chosen this life.
I have always mixed feelings when lambing season starts. I really love this period of small lambs bouncing of life. I love to just sit there watching them discover stones and tussocks or just running around. However there are so much that can go wrong during lambing. Last year was a difficult year with many still borne lambs. I always bury them, for me it is the least I can do for that little animal which never got the chance to live out in the grass. So it is both joy mixed with sadness.
This year however has been a blessed year with just one still borne lamb out of 14 lambs. So now the pasture is full of black and white little happy lambs and despite the risk of sadness I would not like to change this time for anything.
So at last it was time to drive the cows and calves out to the pasture. For safety reasons the cows and calves travel separately. Just lovely to see them walk away.
Spring is slowly returning to our farm. It is a busy time of year, but also lovely to be able to be outside in the sunshine with the dogs while working. Today we finished repairing the fence round our biggest pasture. Tomorrow the cows and the calves will come out on this pasture from their winter paddock. Here they will spend the summer and autumn. For me it is always a joy to let them out on pasture so they can live as natural as is possible.
What is it like to be a farmer? For me it is not so much a choice of work as it is a choice of a way of living. Farming is tough for your body, especially when you are a woman. However, I have always loved to be outside and work with my body even before I took over the farm. To be a farmer is for me to be as close as I can to nature. I want to work with nature, not against it, so our farm is entirely organic. I love to see the calves and the lambs bouncing with life in the spring. Just to have the opportunity to rest for a moment, look into the sky in silence with the animals and plants around me fills me with pure joy. But of course farm life is hard, not just to make ends meet, but the moment I realise that I depend on the animal’s life and death. That is the hardest thing I think, but it also gives opportunity for humility when I realise my dependence of nature. The way I live is far from any career in real life and I think that is one of the reasons why I love this life so much, I can greet the peaceful forest and fields and forget myself in wonder of the beauty that surrounds me.