A New Fence

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tonight I sat next to one of my brothers on his deck, just for a moment. We talked in that moment about noticing and appreciating incremental improvements. Things like this fence my sister and I put up the other day. I have a list of things to do that runs pretty long. And feels urgent. The thing is, I explained, it's only recently my responsibility, and before that, this list didn't seem so important. Now it's almost overwhelming. 

This fence borders a hay field, a nice, lush, green hay field. The fence is a holdover from the early days of the farm, before we started using cattle panels. Cattle panels keep sheep in (or out). This current fence does not. We closed off the adjacent pasture, but also on this long list of things to do is another fence repair, which borders the adjacent fence. It's a long line of leaky fences. One clever ewe discovered the trail of leaks and the nice, lush, green hay field. We chased her out when we caught sight of her on the wrong side of the fence, but we needed a new fence. The really urgent things get pushed to the top of the list, even in the rain. 

 We got it up in an hour or so. These things don't take long to do once they're started. Sometimes it's the starting that takes the longest.

It was a small thing, but it made a big difference. It was gratifying because the effect was immediate. Sometimes it's hard to see progress in the bits and pieces, so every now and then it's nice to see the impact of a bit, a piece.

I'm trying to remind myself that every small part makes up the whole. Even the small things done every day work toward the bigger projects on my list. Every day we water the greenhouse garden, and every day the plants grow a little stronger, a little bigger. I feel like I'm learning this in life. The lesson of maintenance and upkeep. The small, regular, everyday things that keep decay and deterioration at bay.

The next day my sister watched from an upstairs window as our wily ewe made her way through the leaky fences toward the hay field. The ewe started when she saw the new fence, then investigated and came up empty. Success.

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