August 22, 2022

Stewarding the Cycles of Life

Thoughts on Motherhood and Fertility; in Farming and in Life

I've been musing about motherhood a lot lately

I was late to realize I wanted to be a mother. It came to me after a pregnancy scare turned out to be just that, a "scare". In that moment of relief, I also felt a sadness. That sadness came forward in my consciousness to reveal a deep yearning to nurture and serve.

Those desires, to nurture, serve, and create, are the same ones that drive me forward in agriculture. They always have been. Caring for others by feeding them, nourishing their bodies, and doing my best to steward the land for future generations. Looking after animals, seeing the joy of new life on the farm, and planting seeds. Ultimately, farming and ranching are all about fertility, and managing the miraculous ability to create new life. At Late Bloomer Ranch, we take those cycles very seriously, and view our role as managing new life (& subsequent deaths) with intention.

And in that spirit, when Woody and I welcomed our daughter, Wilhelmina, into the world in 2020, she was not separate from this vision. Indeed she *is* an integral part of our farm and ranch. Her joy and laughter, her curiosity and energy, her love of all animals and plants permeate through our work and express themselves as moments of comic relief and connection. I am only more of a farmer now that I am a mother, not less. Like so many things in life, I cannot explain exactly how being a mother has made me a better farmer, but I can say it has 10x’d my empathy and compassion, as well as my dedication to the future.

I have so much respect for the other mothers on our land. The sows, ewes, does, hens and even our barn cats. Not to mention all of the wild animals that live here generation after generation. Even as I plan our fall and winter breeding schedules, with intentions for future offspring to either grow our herd or grow our business sales, I think about the maternal nature of this work. Of what it means to bring beating hearts into this world, and raise them until the time comes for the next chapter, whatever that looks like.

It is not always easy to be the person who decides which animals live and which die, or how many beds to plant for the following season. There is often much heartache, and certainly a fair bit of risk. However, I only feel more assured of my abilities with Willa by my side. Motherhood has brought a sense of wholeness to my life. It has brought compassion, presence, purpose, and so much joy to my world. I feel connected, open-hearted, and true to my essence. From this place, I can make my decisions, trust myself, my farm, and my process.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

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