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May 9, 2012: The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Today’s dispatch title is the title of a book by Milan Kundera. It’s my favorite title of all. I am not stealing it, but rather, for today, borrowing it. Thank you Milan.

All I can think about now is just how lucky I am – I have a wonderful partner, and wonderful friends (all of whom put up with me being me). I live on this incredible piece of property that’s ringed by mountains, in a cabin that we have refurbished. And I’m the proud owner of two dogs, three goats, two chickens and FIVE HORSES, one of whom is new to this world. There’s a movie out, We Bought a Zoo. Well, a movie about my current life would be titled The Zoo Came to Me.

I must have made some good choices at some point in my life. I had friends who weren’t as lucky. Eleanor and I were free range children, we both had the leeway to do whatever we pleased. But at the same time, we had strong instincts of self-preservation, as well as a mother and father who valued higher education. Beyond that, I cannot explain my good fortune.

For the past hour, I’ve been reading congratulatory email messages, from friends saying congrats, Hrimmi is a beautiful horse. And she truly is a

We'll have to raise the bucket so Hrimmi can't drink water while she's nursing.

The other three watched the birth.

magnificent little filly. And last night our neighbor Karen came over and with me, stood gushing for a good hour.

What’s to explain the small bit of good fortune that is now skittering about the pen? Well, I spent the semester teaching animal behavior, and studying up on equine reproduction. And I spent an equal amount of time studying photography. Alas, Signy had her foal on the sly. And the photos aren’t all that good because my vision is obscured by tears.

You can’t really totally prepare for a foal birth. We beat the odds a bit because Signy is an experienced broodmare. And I’m glad that we got the chance to see her do what she does best – nurture foals. But (and I babble) this foal was so big – things could have gone terribly wrong.

I says to Karen that I was worried that something might still go wrong, and she replied “what can go wrong now?” her statement meaning, after all this, what’s to worry about?

Well, the best one can do is just do, doing as Dr. Wellington suggested, and being prepared for the worst. We gave him back his colostrum substitute – and I hope he has no need for it. Hrimmi has gotten hers. And yesterday we trimmed Hrimmi’s overly long toes and checked her teeth (they are lined up perfectly). And we weighed and measured her. She’s HUGE – weighs approximately 85 pounds.

Signy let us do all this, but she was, of course, as she should be, guarded.

My friends -- I am truly experiencing the incredible lightness of being.

Up and Running – an Aubade
Should write a poem,
Perhaps an aubade,
A morning love song,
this, as opposed to a serenade,
which is an evening love song,
for it is in the early hours
that all is right with the world.
I do what comes most easy,
First giving hay and water to hungry goats and horses--
and returning to bed, where both my lover and I
                                             together, greet the new day.

Next: 152. 05/9/12: Bringing Up Baby