Thursday, October 27, 2011
Goatlings and God
The lower branches of the apple tree have been eaten off by the goatlings we used to have. I stoop beneath them to fill the feeders. Autumn blowing cold across me as rusts and citrons and burgundies are settling into the earth like paper embers.
But I remember their too short time here and the overlapping shades of spring...
The kids are here! We brought them home last week to live on our farm. One is two weeks old and the other is four weeks old. We picked up baby Moses, as my daughter Reyna named him because goats reminded her of the Bible, and had to proceed to my daughter Maya’s piano lesson after stopping by my father-in-law's house en route to borrow a rope. He came to the door with no idea we had just bought a farm animal and I asked, "Do you have a rope?" Then he asked, "Do I have a rope?!" I replied, "Yea, for my goat." So, there we were driving around town with the little bleater in the back seat "mabaaaaaa!" out the window and in front of her piano teacher’s house for the duration of her lesson. I must have a serious talk with my activities coordinator.
Later that evening, Maya slept with little Moses in a barn stall his first night because we weren’t getting her goat, Ferdinand, until the next day and she didn’t want it to be alone. He slept at the foot of her sleeping bag until Apache the horse came snorting into the barn in the middle of the night, peering over at the both of them, quite certain the humans had finally gone mad, as Mosey scrambled into her sleeping bag and slept with her the rest of the night. I can't tell you how fun it was to wash the next day.
They are babies and we feed them from a bottle three times a day. They bleat and jump and are affectionate little creatures. They remind me of fawns and the vulnerable of the world; unsteady and precious; the least and the most adorable.
The goatlings are destroying everything on the porch! Knocking down chairs,
peeing on cushions and muck boots! They are climbing on my porch table!
They are eating my pens and pencils!
My dog seems so calm and sane next to the little bleaters.
A gang of girls slept out in the barn loft last night braving the storms and the cold. I looked out and saw their flashlights going around like the eyes of nocturnal animals or angels bending low, hovering around the lowly; baby animals and children: feeding from bottles the earthly food they grab for greedily; feeding become love. Oh, to take communion with the full vision of the presence of Christ and wanting, needing Him as much as these babies' desperate latch for milk. How diminished and parched and motley we come to the altar. And there is Jesus offering His very life for food; His open table fellowship: what incomprehensible love and grace. At times we overlook it like the hues of emerald haze
spreading throughout the spring landscape
long after we have grown accustomed to it.