A bit of metal and some wood - perhaps not the most beautiful or glamorous of things I've brought to the table to share with you here, but I assure you it is truly one of the most exciting sights to us, without a doubt.
Since the day we first walked this parcel of land, we've had our eye and mind on the work of restoring the pastures. Obviously farmed at one time, it has been years and years since livestock lived here. This particular bit, a roughly three-acre patch, surrounded by rock wall and mostly clear has been a great focus of our time these past (almost two!) years. Countless hours have been logged removing old barbed wire, fallen down outbuildings, moving rocks, clearing trees and fenceline, running pigs through to turn roots over, burning brush, moving the meat birds through for fertilizer, seeding, digging fence post holes one by one, and eventually - just this month - putting up the two thousand feet of fencing that we saved for.
Little by little, step by step, post by post and day after day. With a whole lot of work by Steve, some of the rest of us as helpers here and there (Harper most of all), and most definitely with the hands of our community - a nearby dairy farm where we got the cedar posts, parents who cleared trees and burned brush alongside us, a friend who was getting out of the 'sheep business' and had fencing to spare, our neighbor with a comealong and tractor stronger than the arms we were using to pull the fencing with before. And on and on. We never could have done this alone, and I do so love that about it. It seems just the way a pasture should be cleared, a fence raised, and a homestead brought back to life.
We've got a bit more work to do in the pasture - extending the fencing a bit, clearing more trees when the pigs are done with their work, adding temporary fencing between it all so we can properly rotate, and of course, there will always be work now on maintaining it. But, there was a big sigh of relief and satisfaction around here on the day last week when we moved the sheep from the not-ideal smaller and sparse yard they were in (and that we had always considered temporary) into the lush pasture they now graze in.
They were pleased, this flock of four lovely ladies, when we moved them to their new digs. Adelaide thought they were smiling, and I quite agree. I felt the same way at the sight of all that fresh grass and beautiful fencing, though for different reasons. My mind wandered from wondering about the people and animals who once lived and worked here too, to all the people and animals that have made this all come together for us in the past two years, and what might come in the years to come. So much life and living in a piece of land. It feels truly alive now, in all the ways we dreamed about in the beginning.