As with all things we receive from the earth, we have to give back in return. No, I am not religious as in led by a bible, but I do feel, spiritually, much like native American Indians, that we should give have an awareness, a respect even, for the fact that life takes away as much as life gives. That, when we work with things in nature, we need to understand that we cannot control them, however much we feel we can.
This last feeling for me has become particularly heightened working in midwifery. As I have blogged before, we can do everything within our power to ensure that birth stays on the path of normality, the path that exists symbiotically, with nature, we can avoid continually monitoring women, unnecessarily inducing women before their time or breaking their waters to speed things up when there really is no clinical need. As midwives we can encourage women to remain mobile, to stay home (for birth if possible, but if not, for as long as possible), to eat well through their pregnancies, the list is endless. However, what we cannot do is control what nature decides to do, so some reverence for it's power and enormity should, I feel, be part of my family's daily life.
This morning we lost a chicken. I had isolated her from the rest of the girls in case she was contagious. I don't think she was, but just to be safe. She had stopped laying a few weeks back and appeared broody, sitting all day on the eggs. I had moved her out, fed her, encouraged her to drink and this she seemed to do without any problems. Then she began to 'look' sick. Nothing I could lay my finger on and treat, but the colour was fading from her comb and around her eyes. The iridescence of her plumage had gone. I picked her up and she was bones, yet she was eating and drinking and off the nest. She wasn't herself though, she wasn't running around with the girls like she used to protesting her need for corn everytime the back door handle was touched. I hand fed her mashed potato yesterday and used a syringe to drop water into her mouth, but I think I knew she was on her way out. This morning, she has been returned to the earth where she will continue her journey in the circle of life.
Our first, early crop of harvested fruit and veg from the garden...thank you!