Define this week past?
Ferociously loud, destructive, unfriendly wind. A mighty gale that lasted for days, shaking the house, tearing limbs off trees and scattering anything not secured. The roaring forties making landfall. I barely slept because of the noise.
Now I am cranky and tired.
Added to my woes, the wretched little calf will not drink properly. After premature elation over her consuming a full bottle in one session, she has never repeated the feat. I know now that her birth was difficult and that she most likely was brain-damaged due to lack of oxygen. The poor wee thing is a bag of bones, she will take 200 -300 mls voluntarily and then just stop. No amount of coaxing, massaging or squeezing will produce a swallow reflex, her tongue lolls back, her eyes roll up and she wont take any more in that session. I have tried pouring the milk into her mouth and massaging her throat to get a swallow but after two or three of those she just gives up. I have been repeating this process two hourly for nearly a week now.
There is a pile of filthy calf feeding clothes at the door and my life is a two hourly cycle of mixing milk, getting changed, separating calves, coaxing my poor backward baby to take on enough nourishment to stay alive, washing bottles, changing again and fitting small home and studio jobs around the unrelenting schedule.
My mood is dark, and that’s where the reference to moon and tide comes in. Last night was the full moon and the tide of my dark mood reached a kind of zenith too. I sat up and watched the eclipse and blood moon, drank a whole bottle of wine and gave myself a stern talking to.
Given the condition of the bottle – these aren’t so bad.
Like all difficult seasons this one will pass too. It is a challenge for me. To find the good in it. Little things like the Wee calf’s long white eyelashes, new seedlings pushing up from their dark earthy interment to the light and air, or the twitching of the cats’ whiskers as they dream; and these precious few days of term break with my big son home with me – each is a small celebration. I have even managed to take a few not particularly good photographs, and to work some of the outlining on my dragon embroidery. I can beat this dark mood.
And that is my time up – time for the milk battle again.