Yesterday, I was curled up on my bed in fetal position. My bones ached and my skin was magically pulsing with heat and covered in chills at the same time. My eyes were watering and desired nothing more than to stay closed no matter the cost. My body was fatigued and weary.
I went to bed a normal person on Friday night and woke up in this horrendously tender state the following morning. I tried to go about my normal chores… a coat of mascara, breakfast for the littles, straightening the beds… and by this point, Juliette awoke – ready to eat. So I latched her on…
Good Lord almighty. All of a sudden, my flu-like-symptoms made sense.
This ain't my first rodeo. I've been around this nursing block no less than four times at this point and I should've known as soon as I woke up feeling so awful. The dreaded “m” word. Mastitis.
To every Mama, or dairy cow, who's ever experienced this – my heart is with you! It's awful. So, so awful.
Georgia asked me if my “teat” hurt – while I winced through the pain of nursing. Ha! Even if my misery, I had to chuckle. Especially when she went to church and told Ms. Natali that I had “lastitis”. Ahh yes… the dreaded lastitis.
When it hit, it hit like a freight train, and I spent the next 12 hours balled up on my new mattress (which, by the way, is worth it's weight in gold…. use the code HOMESTEAD if you want a discount!) thinking. I was thinking about the farm. Thinking about my kids. Thinking about babies. Thinking about spring.
Spring, y'all. Can you even? Is there a better thing in the entire world than the first green leaves poking through the barren landscape in the spring? We've been under a foot of snow since Thanksgiving – and frankly – I'm getting a bit tired of it.
When Mama starts to lose her mind and needs to “reset” – she goes to the garden.
When I'm overwhelmed, tired of the mess, or challenged by life – I go wander the grounds and put together a little bouquet of clippings.
The farm resets my soul. I pray. I observe. I harvest. I plant. It's, quite frankly, the very best place in the world.
But since there has been so much snow, I haven't even see my pea gravel in months. Garden paths are a distant memory and Lord only knows what's buried underneath the white blanket. It's starting to wear me down! Even Stu, the happy-go-lucky-optimist, is being worn down by the frozen tundra of our currently existence.
To curb my distaste for February, I bought myself a present. I bought myself a box of moss from a nearby forest. And that box of moss happened to arrive on the very day that I was curled up in bed, sick to my bones with the dreaded lastitis.
Stuart brought it in to me, already opened. He knew. He knew I needed it.
I sat up enough to stretch out my arm and sink my fingertips into the soft, green blanket of moss. I wiggled my fingers down… down… further into the moss before grabbing a small handful and lifting it to my nose. Do you know what I smelt? Earth. Earth that I haven't smelt since November. And then do you know what I did?
The smell of dirt, of earth, literally brought me to tears.
Perhaps it came from the weariness I was experiencing that day. Or perhaps it was just emotion that needed to bubble out in some form. But regardless, I sat with that moss practically shoved up my nose for the remainder of the day. A few teeny tiny bugs were crawling out of the nooks of the moss and I let them because, at the very least, it was life!
After tending to myself with oils, rest, and lots of nursing, I woke up the following morning feeling much better than the day prior. I was moving a wee bit slower and still felt a bit funky, but considerably better. After a cup of coffee and a few bites of breakfast, I went around the house redressing all the house plants with the moss. It helps them to hold in water better. It helps to protect them from prying little fingers that like to bury things in their soil. It breaks down and feeds the plant. And, hello!, it looks beautiful.
I fell in love with dressing plants with moss in my floral design days. I remember my “master” teaching me, the “grasshopper”, that arrangements should look like you scooped them out of the earth with your cupped hands. I've always loved that image.
That silly box of moss was just what this ‘ol heart needed.
Life will come back in the spring. We still have three ewes to lamb in the coming month. Seeds will soon be started inside for the summer garden. Piglets are growing like weeds. And in a few short weeks, daffodils will begin to poke up from the soil.
Yes, Shaye, life is coming! Believe it! We can do this!