Rest In Peace

Most days we go about our routine deeply intrenched in a feeling
of peace and satisfaction.
This is a happy place.

Of course, with life... circumstances are not always perfect...
and loss is a part of life.
So it is, here on the farm.
We suffer our losses, but rejoice in the everyday miracles that greatly outweigh them.
At least we choose to see it this way.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to the eldest member of the goat herd, Missy.

She was in her teens and at the end was extremely arthritic.
She lived a quiet life surrounded by her family and friends,
in a peaceful, safe environment.

Our goat herd, which was a joint venture with Hubbs' sister, Becky, 
 has dwindled in the past few years from 18 members to the present six.
Becky raised fainting goats, and we had Nigerian Dwarfs...
all of whom lived together in one of our large upper pastures.

We no longer have any of our Nigerian Dwarf goats,
and the remaining six are fainting goats.
With many of the goats, we witnessed both their birth and death...
and all of the daily meanderings in between.
It has been a privilege to care for these souls through their entire life...
to build relationships of trust and peace.
It is sad to say goodbye and know that we will not be replacing the herd as it diminishes.

But... this is the life we chose.
It's a wonderful, fascinating, miraculous life...
but... it is finite.
This life will change with time... as our animals age and as we age.
We have made the decision to not replace our large mammals as they pass.
As we age, it will be more difficult to care for a large farm...
so a "natural" down-sizing will occur.
Most likely, our donkeys will out-live us.... and that is a situation that we are trying to avoid.

Acceptance of all of this is the key to day-to-day happiness.
We cannot change the course of time.
And surely, nothing stays the same.
We can only accept the sad with the happy,
the losses with the gains,
and never lose sight of the tiny miracles that surround us every day.

There are still so many souls here for which we are responsible.
And so much life happening every day!

PS... for those of you worried about the ducks....
running and tripping over each other is a routine part of their life.
Hence the name... runner ducks.


The JR said…
I'm sorry about Missy. With ya'll's care, she had a great life.
Karla said…
Bev, so sorry to hear about Missy. Yes, it's Life on Life's terms, for sure, when we care for animals. I know that their welfare is TOP most priority for you and Jack, and that they enjoy life on your farm.

I think it's the most responsible thing to do, to downsize as we age. We don't want to burden our son with having to make hard decisions about pets or property or "stuff" when it's our time. We've had to do that with our own aging parents' things and animals, (and are doing this now, still) and it's been heart breaking.

Thanks for sharing, as always!

Karla in Illinois
littlemancat said…
Sorry about Missy - that's such a good photo of her - but what a good life she shared with you and the Bee Haven family.
Katmom said…
Bev it goes without saying, you all see such a blessing to the 2 and 4 legged souls that share Beehaven acres.
This N That said…
Sorry about Missy..I'm sure she was grateful for the good life that you provided for her..
Leslye said…
So sorry about Missy.It is so sad when our animals die but that is the way of things as you say.The joy they give us while they are here won't be forgotten.
Deb said…
Rest in peace, dear Missy.
I'm sorry for your loss of Missy. It is so difficult for us to bury one of our animals. We are down to 5 hens, one Banty rooster, and 2 labs. Our chickens are all over 6 so the chances are good we will out live them. Not so sure about our 4yo and 7 month old labs. We have an agreement with our son and he will welcome the labs, in case something happens to us. In our 70's, we have to think about these things. Patty McDonald