If I had to choose my favorite thing to do on this farm, the answer would always come easy and the same – it’s checking cows.From the first of October through the first of December, the air changes in more than one way around here. Ninety-some-odd mama cows begin to “drop” calves – and if time and weather permits, the kids and I pile onto the “gator” (aka. farm utility vehicle) with LB and we “check cows” together. He does it twice a day, regardless of weather or time – we just get to choose. Basically, this means we ride around the farm and “check” to see if any “cows” have babies – thus, we “check cows.” (See? We are pretty plain to understand folk around here. ) And if they have, my husband proceeds to stealthily (as a road-hard-put-up-wet-cowboy can) tag the baby calf’s ear and get back in the gator in one piece (preferably without mama trying to join him.) Nine times out of ten, things go well. And these are the days – the glory days – that I wait all year for.There’s just something about experiencing the best of this farm life together that makes my mama heart sing – and sometimes cry. Because they don’t all make it. Every live birth – both human and animal – is a miracle. I’m reminded of that in big and small ways all year long – but especially over these sixty.
For me, that reminder comes through my lens on a bumpy dirt ride with the people I love the best in the place I love most. It also comes when I take time to step away from my camera telling other people’s stories and get behind it as telling my own. Because fifty and one-hundred and fifty years from now, the legacy I leave will be best lived through the story God wrote in my own life and through my own people.What reminds you how precious life really is? I’d love to hear that piece of your own story. <3
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