When people talk about March weather, they often say, “It comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion.” Or vice-versa. I think that same saying could be used for all the chores that we face in spring – especially if we have weather like we are having now on the front range of the Rockies. Except, instead of the weather, the workload comes in like a lion. I just finished checking a list of things to do this month – or what’s left of it.
The harrowing of the pastures is nearly finished, only about a half day remains. I have delivered four processed hogs to our happy customers, and have two more to go this week. Our baby chicks arrived on Thursday. I found a new boar and he needs to be picked up this week and delivered to our happy sows. A new horse boarder is coming this week, too. I have planted sugar snap peas in one of my beds, lettuce in another. Spinach is ready to cut out of another bed, so that bed can have some more manure and soil added to it and replanted with something else. I’ve begun sowing all my seeds for indoor germination, starting with tomatoes and peppers, followed closely by cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I didn’t get as much finished in the garden last fall as usual, so there is a fair amount of cleaning up to do in there, spread compost and till – then get to planting some more peas. However, before I can do that, I need to relocate the mobile chicken house out of the garden area where they winter and set up there electrified poultry netting. Oh, I forgot to mention cleaning out the chicken house and adding that to the soon to be depleted compost pile.
Our Dexter heifers have both calved within the last two days, very proud mothers of new bull calves. Mom’s and babies are doing great – the little bulls already driving their first time mothers to the brink of insanity. In a few weeks, our Haflinger mares will be delivering their precious cargo – two mule foals. I am so anxious to see what kind of mules they make. The strength, confirmation and demeanor of the mares is just about perfect – hopefully that translates to big, strong, gentle mules.
It has definitely been busy. Really though, there is nothing better. As we go through our life on this wonderful earth, brief though it is, it is good to begin anew. The dark, short days of winter have passed and the longer, warmer days of spring are here. New life abounds everywhere. Green grasses shoot up from the warming soil, first against the edges of buildings that act like heat sinks, then in little draws and depressions that hold more moisture and block the wind, then spreading out through all the pastures and fields, covering them like a new green blanket.
We are still making this transformation in our spiritual lives as well, still in the latter stages of Lent. So, as we go about cultivating, harrowing, spreading fertilizer, sowing new seeds, birthing new life in our daily lives on the farm, we are also doing the same tasks in our spiritual lives. We are cleaning out the old selves in our lives, harrowing away the dung of sin and indifference to our loving Lord, cultivating a good seed bed in our hearts through prayer, fasting and good works, so that new life might spring up in us on Easter. We anticipate the new man that we can become. All our work points toward this goal, and with the grace of God that “comes down on us like the dewfall”, we will become these new men.
March is nearly through. It came in with all its chores like a lion. By our commitment to diligence in our worldly life, and our commitment to diligence in our spiritual lives, it will go out like a lamb – and that Lamb will lead us to new green pastures, beginning again on Easter morning.