Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blind Sight is 20-20

One of my greatest joys in the spring is visitors--old friends, as well as new ones, dropping by to see the baby lambs! The other day, Beth B. came over from Kansas City with her little family to check out the farm for a web article on my colorful eggs. You can find her article on the site as well as the

This morning, a long-time friend brought several children, including her blind son, to visit. I especially love having him visit...seeing the farm "through his eyes" always makes me so much more aware of the amazing details, myself. In addition to seeing (and touching the wooly, wrinkly folds of skin on the backs of their necks, and listening to the sound of the flock's scampering hooves on soft ground) the lambs, we tasted edible spring greens sprouting on the farm...dandelion, onion...and chewed on the base of tender grass shoots. Would I have taken the time to taste new grass if it hadn't been for him?

Each visitor or visiting group helps me see the farm anew. It's a good thing, usually. Of course it's music to my ears when someone comments on how good it looks, or how much progress I've made since they were last here. So often I can only see the things that I HAVEN"T done yet. But it's also good, when someone calls and asks for directions, to look around and try to see what they will notice. What will their first impressions be? So often I become "blind" to things that I just don't want (or know how) to deal with, or that don't seem important or "productive" to deal with.

When things fall, I've trained myself not to react automatically. Often, it really IS more important to continue what I'm doing than to interrupt myself to clean up a spill or pick something up. Once gravity has put something on the ground (a handful of rags used to clean and dry a newborn lamb, for instance), it's pretty much in a stable state...fallen things are generally very patient and will just stay where they land until I "get a round tuit"and pick them up. But then I tend to become"blind" to them. "I'll pick it up next time," but next time my hands are full again, or I'm in a hurry, or again trying not to interrupt myself. When I look around through a visitor's eyes, those rags stick out like a sore thumb, making the place look cluttered and unkempt. So I'm slowly training myself to the new habit of going back and finishing things, and to look at the farm through new eyes, often.

Also, sometimes I'm aware of safety hazards, but don't always take the time to fix them when it's just me here...I just remember to step around them. Inviting others makes me accountable. A couple weeks ago, I leaned some metal roofing against the side of the brooder house pen, to block Border Collie Luna's view of the chickens when she is in her pen. (She has been spending far too much time obsessing about chickens, so I'm forcing partial withdrawal.) To keep the metal in place, quickly, I had pushed some bags of autumn leaves up against it. Grass was starting to die under the bags, and grow long around them. Plus the top corners of metal were leaning out into the path. Knowing that folks were coming to visit helped me make the time to "properly" secure the metal to the fence with baling twine.

Got to go put a load of laundry in, so I guess I better go out to the lambing pen, do a last "lamb check" for the evening, and pick up those rags on my way to the basement....

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