So, I sort of left you with a listing of failures. And with a bit of a temper tantrum at the faucet where I gave up.
Then I got an email. If I wanted the blue Ameraucana chicks I had inquired about, they were ready and I could come pick them up any time. My heart sank. Normally, such a thing would distract me just enough to start thinking about what our plans are for this place rather than all the road blocks and detours along the way. Normally, while I can have these horrific emotional crashes where everything seems lost and hopeless and stuck in the grave with my son, I can climb back out as my attention shifts to other plans or other projects that need my attention.
But I think the email came a little too soon after losing the ducklings.
Because as I got in the car to go pick them up, all I could think about was these ten little lives I was dooming to slow and random deaths as they were picked off one by one by ineffective heat lamps, predators, mysterious diseases or whatever plague might befall this attempt to begin again.
Until I got all the way out to Ashland and saw those little fluffballs running around in their storage totes, waiting for us to bring them home. That made me smile just a little bit.
And then the breeder and I got to talking. I about my challenges getting this flock of ducks started. He about his challenges developing his line of Ameraucanas.
And he has lost years and whole lines to predators, to weather, to incubator issues, to management mistakes.
And it helped me remember that this is normal. This life is a struggle and we make progress in small steps that often go the wrong direction.
It reminded me of a quote out of the Great Depression I once heard that could be the motto of these Great Plains,
“We are a next year people.”
A people who can come through economic collapse, a multiyear drought and massive dust storms covering multiple states on the simple belief that next year will be better.
A people who knows that each year all you can really do is put your seed in the ground and hope and pray.
And I think that is the kind of person I want to be.