June is here bringing with it bright blue skies and warm sun. And the bay is glassy, finally settling into its silvery blue summer skin. I got my vegetable garden planted yesterday, having been delayed most of this spring by the cold temperatures and the sodden soil. We’ve mulched and Robert has fertilized and sprayed the fruit trees. The growing season is short in Maine so our time frame to get everything into the ground is tight. There is an urgency to spring which is all consuming. It is a season that calls us to be in the now like no other. If we don’t get the vegetables planted now, there will be no vegetables. If we don’t get the mulch down now, we will spend the rest of the season knee deep in weeds. If we don’t get the trees fertilized and sprayed now, we won’t have fruit.
But then again, now is the operative rhythm of the farm. I admit that I am used to it. When my Addie goat needs to be milked, she needs to be milked now. When the baby goats need their bottles, they need them now. When their stalls need to be cleaned or their feet trimmed or their vaccinations given, it has to be done now. I don’t have a choice. But this now-ness is not all bad. I often feel it frees me from being pulled in too many directions and keeps me present.
Recently I have been walking the little goats into the big field to graze with the older goats. I sit on a large granite rock that has pushed up out of the earth and watch them getting to know each other. The older goats make a great display of rearing up and butting heads with the little ones and the little ones rear and butt them right back. It is not hostile or mean on the part of the older goats but simply a way to set some boundaries and put these little whippersnappers in their place. Then they all lower their heads into the deep green grass and graze contentedly together. I keep wondering why we humans can’t take a lesson from them on how to set boundaries without fighting wars.
I love siting on that rock. There is no I phone, no I pad, no computer. I have the privilege of just being present. I have watched the little willow go from pale yellow to deep green. I have seen the wild blueberries begin as rusty red leaves only to suddenly sprout tiny pink blossoms. I have loved seeing the wild violets appear and slowly spread into a carpet of purple. I have heard warblers and spotted a cedar waxwing at the very top of a very tall copper beech singing his heart out. Yesterday I looked across the field and at the very edge of the wood and saw two young bear cups up in the trees. When a mama bear goes in search of food she often will leave her cubs in a tree. They looked like they were playing tag with each other, two fat little mounds of dark fur going up and down the trunk.
And all the while, I often get a baby goat jumping up in my lap and settling down for a moment of being loved. Then off he or she will leap to graze again. Or one of the older ones will jump up on the rock beside me and nuzzle for a moment. To love and be loved. It is as simple as that.
The deep green of summer has suddenly appeared out of nowhere. So it is that time passes so quickly. Soon the little goats will be out in the pasture on their own. They will not need me sitting on that rock to referee their recess. I am grateful for the time with them that I have been given. Now it is time to wade into the new season with the same attention to all that surrounds me and be present to its richness and all that it can teach me. Now.