I love walking in the forest on a crisp morning. Birds singing and bugs humming, early sunlight filtering through the the luscious shades of green, accenting the dark and sturdy tree trunks reaching out of the fertile ground. The light scent of ferns and wildflowers intermingled with musky wafts of composting leaves and rich soil… I breathe in deeply and release any tension as I take in the beauty and continuity of nature, of life, really.
Thoughts, worries, doubts, regrets vanish as I see potential for play all around. An old stump rises out of the ferns. Roots above ground form a cave, and at a glance it looks as though a scene for a fairytale… I stand and watch waiting for the slightest hint of movement suggesting I stepped into a different world of magical creatures. I imagine tiny fairies and unicorns and sourcerers… For a moment I wish to live in that world. Just a tiny figure disappearing among ferns and stems without making a sound, safe from the pressures of life.
And for a moment, as I gaze into the tree tops high above me, I realize I am that tiny figure, surrounded by a world much bigger than the everyday woes and duties we call reality. A world full of possibility and opportunity and freedom.
There is nothing as gratifying as a bowl of beautiful food. A work of art created in collaboration with mother nature.
Running my CSA by myself, without hired help, has its challenges and rewards alike. Some tasks seem daunting, like planting countless flats of seedlings by hand, trellising 250 tomato plants in a hot hoophouse, or pulling weeds out of rows and rows of lettuce, spinach, carrots and so on.
But the rewards are plenty. There is the quietude and serenity of my communion with nature. No noisy tractors or machinery to disturb the harmony of birds singing along with the breeze playing in the trees and grasses all around me.
And of course there is the deliciousness of picking the fresh, plump squash, huge buttery lettuces, colorful duck egg sized radishes and bunches of lush and crunchy baby spinach… Handsful of green and purple beans, clusters of ripe and juicy tomatoes, aromatic bulbs of fennel… Beautiful food. Fresh, organic, home grown, bursting with flavor and love…
I am proud to say: “Yes, I grow this!”
We just got word from the Raptor Center that the eagle is suffering from high lead toxicity and some eye trauma, and is now undergoing treatment.
Apparently, one of the main reasons for raptors entering the raptor center’s programs is lead poisoning, starting with hunting season each fall.
The ammunition used by hunters are lead pellets. Eagles ingest them when feasting on the remains of turkeys or deer left behind by hunters.
Unfortunately, one of four eagles brought into the rescue center that same week as the one we helped rescue has died from advanced effects like internal bleeding and organ failure caused by severe lead poisoning.
For the three remaining, it’s around-the-clock injections and feeding liquid food. Vitamin K is administered to slow down internal bleeding if possible.
If the three survivors are lucky, they will join other recovering eagles in the fly zone in a few months. A release back into the wild is at least a year away.
Please consider making a donation to help pay for THIS raptor’s care.
You can donate online at http://www.theraptorcenter.org or call the raptor center at 612-624-8457
The Raptor Center is located at 1920 Fitch Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108 and the phone number is 612-624-4745
Rehabilitation Costs for each Eagle:
$60 One month: food for one eagle
$80 Radiograph for newly admitted raptor
$100 Initial admission exam
$500 Medical care and food for 2 weeks
As I am waiting out winter in preparation for the new life I will be starting – myself as a new farmer and with the seeds I will be planting and nourishing and cultivating – I am working at a dairy farm, milking 48 cows and, my favorite, hand feeding the new calves.
There is such innocence and curiosity and expectation in those big eyes… I am drawn in from the first moment and just want to capture that sweet wide-eyed expression. It reminds me of that wide-eyed inner child of mine that has gotten buried under the weight of growing up and striving to have and be and do great things.
As I watch the calves grow and move through the stages, outgrowing the bottle and eventually giving birth and joining the ranks of milkers, I can’t help but notice that their eyes never change. Even in the older, seasoned cows I see that same gentleness and curiosity and expectation…
Animals live in the moment and see each moment new and fresh. Unlike us humans whose vision becomes blurred by the accumulation and assimilation of every moment we live. We do not let go, we do not move on, every moment is measured against all that have come before. Until we overload, have to regroup, and restart. And finally open our eyes again and start a new life – wide-eyed, full of innocence and curiosity and expectation.
Here is to new life and big, open eyes. Blessings for a wonderful season and a fresh start to a new year waiting to be lived one amazing moment at a time.