Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

I was up early this morning, hoping to tackle the chores I needed done before the scorching sun became too intense. I spent most of yesterday mowing – five hours on the zero turn, and another hour doing some push mowing. So today, I only needed to finish up mowing around trees and shrubs with the push mower. But, I also had to do some watering and weeding. Plus, the ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, and blackberries needed to be picked.

The most dreaded task of them all that I had to get done today, however, was to clean under the deck of the zero turn mower. Cleaning the mower deck is a nasty, dirty job. It takes quite a little muscle to scrape the caked-on weeds, dirt and grass from under the deck of the mower, and one has to be tolerant of the stench, which of course, attracts flies. Add mosquitoes to the mix, and you have a recipe for misery. One saving grace I am thankful for though, is a clever apparatus called a MoJack. With just a hand crank, this simple device jacks the zero-turn up so that I can get under the deck for safe, quick and easy cleaning.

It was nearly time for lunch when I completed all of my morning tasks, and I decided I deserved a little rest and relaxation – my reward for jobs well done. I slapped a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together, which I ate as I scurried around the house gathering everything I would need for some fun in the sun. I had decided this afternoon I would treat myself with a couple of hours of luxury, floating around in the pool and keeping cool.

The view from the pool, looking down into the woodlands.
The view from the pool, looking down into the woodlands.

I gathered my necessary items – sunglasses, sun visor, sunscreen, ice water, swimming goggles, bug net, cell phone and house phone, beach towel, and finally, my floating raft – and I was ready. I jumped in the pool and, as my feet hit the bottom, I realized I had forgotten to turn on the music! Aaagh! Back out of the pool, I quickly dried myself and ran in the house to crank up the outdoor speakers, tuning into Sirius XM’s Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville channel.

After getting back in the pool, I walked its oval perimeter, skimming floating bugs with the bug net. The pool sits atop the rim of the slope, offering a gorgeous view of the woods below. There are two Hackberry trees and an Elm tree that shade the south side of the pool just a bit but, for the most part, the pool is in the direct sun. With three trees directly south, and the woodland trees nearby, we get a lot of bugs in the pool. So, while I am floating about, I keep my bug net handy for scooping up unwanted insects. Besides, it breaks the monotony and gives me something to do.

These cumulonimbus clouds are the formations that bring most of our spring storms. This particular formation brought large hail and damaging winds to the east of us.
These cumulonimbus clouds are the formations that bring most of our spring storms. This particular formation brought large hail and damaging winds to the east of us.

For a while I watched the clouds floating above me. I never was one to gaze at clouds and try to find different characters or forms in them. I mean, really, who has time for that anyway? I was always more the type that gave clouds attention for more scientific reasons – like weather changes. After all, a good farm girl checks out the weather for the day/week, so she knows what projects and tasks to tackle while the weather is good. But today, as I laid on my floating raft, I looked up at the clouds and wondered if I could be good at discovering forms, and using my imagination to create an image out of these fluffy masses.

The very first cloud I spotted was floating slowly, directly above me. Its form did not change much at all as I observed it. But I knew, before I could even think about it, what I saw in that formation. I was seeing the shape of a fawn. It was not a complete fawn, but I could clearly make out its head, neck and front legs.

Daisy and Spirit set out early in the morning.
Daisy and Spirit set out early in the morning.

While observing this fawn in the sky, I realized that, over the past two days, I was finally coming to grips with the fact that Daisy’s little buck, Rowdy, would not be coming back. Blindly, I had hoped that somehow he had just run off too far to find his way home, or that maybe he was nearby, but was injured and recuperating, and would soon recover to show back up with Daisy and Spirit one day. More than a week had passed since the attack by what we believe to have been a bobcat. Daisy survived a brutal fight, but we never saw Rowdy after that day, nor did we found any signs of where the attack had taken place.

Daisy’s wounds were scabbed over by now, and her hair was beginning to grow back in the large, bald spots where the bobcat had clawed it out. The bruising remained and Daisy still showed a slight limp, but she was healing nicely. Finally giving up her ardent search for her little buck a few days ago, she no longer mooed around constantly, or took long moments to investigate areas where Rowdy’s scent had lingered. The recent rains had washed away any traces of Rowdy, and Daisy had moved on, with her attention now solely focused on the care of her doe fawn, Spirit.

Daisy was not alone in her despair for her boy during those first few days, for I had suffered too. It was not easy to watch my girl spend the better part of a week searching for Rowdy. And it was terrifying to think that, after a year of Daisy wandering the woods, and beyond to the river, a mere bobcat – typically known for targeting small mammals and birds like rabbits and quail – could inflict these kinds of wounds on a full-grown deer. Ever since the attack, I had trouble sleeping at night for worrying about Daisy and Spirit – and Rowdy. Now, in my mind, the woodlands seemed to be a horrific place, no longer feeling safe and beautiful, as it had once been to me.

Daisy stops to give her Mama kisses. Lately, she seems to enjoy extra attention from FD and me.
Daisy stops to give her Mama kisses. Lately, she seems to enjoy extra attention from FD and me.

I did not necessarily need to see “signs” that it was time to move on, but today, it seemed that maybe Mother Nature thought it was time to give me a nudge anyway. For, early this morning, I had seen my friend the vulture, flying high above the woodlands. I am convinced the vulture is my animal totem, bringing to me the all-important message to “glide and soar”, and to leave the carcass of troubles behind. Also, I had witnessed Daisy playing with Spirit just below the slope around mid-morning and noticed how Daisy seemed so carefree, like she was when she was a young fawn herself. Daisy and Spirit gamboled and tossed heads together, having a good ol’ time, just like Rowdy had done with Spirit. Recalling this scene and observing the little fawn image in the clouds now, I smiled… it was a sign to me that wherever Rowdy was, and whatever had happened, it was beyond my control. It suddenly felt “ok” to continue to hope for a miracle, but it also felt “ok” to move on. As I pondered the amazing comfort that seemed to come over me from seeing the fawn shape in that simple mass of water droplets, I noticed Jimmy Buffet’s voice coming over the outdoor speakers – crooning the words to his song, “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”.

Sometimes, my friends, messages are all around us and come in many forms – if we can only recognize them. But, answers to the questions we have about life, are not always apparent. Tragedy, difficulty and struggle can come suddenly and leave us shattered. Yet, there is a resilient side to Mother Nature, and to human nature. Watching Daisy at play with Spirit, I knew I could not continue to lick the wounds of my sadness. I knew this day had presented to me a sign that it was time to move past what I thought to be a tragedy, and to be joyful of the good that was happening before me now. It was obvious that Daisy was focused on the present, and if she could move on after losing little Rowdy, then I could too.

Daisy loves to have her ears scratched. I'm getting more kisses!
Daisy loves to have her ears scratched. I’m getting more kisses!

ยฉ Day by Day the Farm Girl Wayโ€ฆ


41 thoughts on “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

  1. Another lovely post Lori. Daisy looks to be healing well and she certainly looks like she is lapping up all of that wonderful attention from her mum ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you! Yes, Daisy’s healing nicely, though her nose continues to peel, bleed and scab again. With the 100 degree-plus temperatures, it has to be hard on her bare skin. I’m so glad to see she’s getting new hair! Oh, Daisy comes by a time or two (or more) each day for love and attention. Of course it could have something to do with fresh potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and blackberries offered as snacks! LOL

      Like

  2. It makes me feel better knowing that you have been able to… “come to terms” with this…Its never easy….

    Like

  3. As always, some insightful writing; from the title to the last line.
    That picture of the clouds is stunning by the way!
    Best wishes – with the mower – and with moving on.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much. Spring storms offer some of the most gorgeous cloud formations. Most of the time nearby trees get in the way for photography to be great, but sometimes I get lucky and they form just above our place. I should drive out of town a bit and park on a hilltop to get the best cloud photos. This area of Oklahoma has some wonderful distance views.

      Moving on is difficult, but something we all face at times in our lives. Thanks for your good wishes. It means a lot.

      Like

  4. When the title of this post popped up in my email, I knew that Rowdy would still be missing and the thought made me sad. But, as you have so wonderfully written, things move on and Daisy can spend her whole being on raising and protecting Spirit. Animals can teach us so much about life.

    Like

    1. Yes, animals have been some of my greatest teachers… especially Daisy. Thank you for your compassion during this time. It means more than you know, Rachel.

      Like

    1. Babbling is completely acceptable here! I couldn’t agree more… animals are the greatest teachers. They seem to simplify what human’s create such chaos and drama of. Daisy has helped me with many struggles. I hope in some way I have helped her with hers too.

      Like

  5. This is the hardest part of communing with nature. She is practical (deer have twins so one has more chance at survival) and ruthless (bobcats are predators and deer are prey). May your heart keep breathing, my friend.

    Like

    1. Someone recently asked if I knew this was going to hurt so much, would I have chosen to experience this journey (with Daisy) at all? Yes, I still would. Thank you for your loving compassion, Sandy. Knowing people understand makes all of the difference in the world!

      Like

  6. I bet the flies are a battle while cleaning off guck from the mower.
    But the view from the pool is hard to beat.
    So sorry about Rowdy – he brought such joy.
    Nice Daisy and Spirit are kicking up their heels. It’s all we can do – appreciate what there is.
    Clouds, a great song, and friends. Nice day

    Like

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. Sometimes we spend so much time lamenting the worst of things, that we fail to see all the wonderment that surrounds us. I’m so glad to call you friend… I hope you are having a nice day way down south! It’s hotter than blazes here today.

      Like

    1. Thank you, Kat. I’m not sure I can ever understand it, but there is much in this life that “passeth understanding”. I’m glad to have you as a compassionate friend.

      Like

  7. Great post friend. Isn’t it interesting how those with no voice at all send the biggest message? It is Daisy that has taught you the hardest lesson in life of all… to let go. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  8. I’ve been thinking of Rowdy often lately as our local deer come through the yard with their fawns. One of them has two, but the other only has one, and when I see her with a lone fawn trailing behind her I wonder if she, like Daisy, had two of them at one point. You know, being able to be so close to wildlife is a real blessing, but it also can bring lots of sadness as we’re witnesses to the cruelties of life in the wild. I’m reminded that loving someone means you open your heart to being wounded too. What’s important is that we don’t let the pain harden our hearts. (I have to tell myself this every time it happens to me.)

    I’m glad to hear that you’re making peace with Rowdy’s disappearance, and happy that Daisy and Spirit seem to be moving on as well.

    Your pool looks like a great place to be on a hot day, by the way. It’s good to know you’re able to relax occasionally! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

    1. Some deer just have one fawn, especially first timers. I am glad that Daisy still has Spirit. Daisy has been alone so much of her life and I can tell she flourishes being a mother. Watching her and Spirit play has been helpful to me. I have struggled mostly with Daisy’s wounds. I try not to worry. She survived the attack. But I still tend to worry about her small size for a whitetail deer.

      Ever since I hurt my back last fall, Kim, I pay a lot more attention to my body telling me I need a break or a day or two off. Our bodies always tell us what they need, but in today’s busy and stressful lifestyles, people just medicate and push forth. Rest is usually all we need. That pool has been a great investment. We swim laps for exercise, and we just float around visiting while watching the woodland critters down below. It’s also a great place for family to congregate and have fun when we have visitors during the summer months!

      Thanks for your compassion, Kim. It means more than you know.

      Like

  9. I love this post! You have a wonderful talent for writing!

    It is amazing how at times Nature will just talk to you and then suddenly, the world doesn’t seem quite so harsh. Most of those things that bother us are quite temporary, yet meaningful in their own way. We normally don’t think about how every shed tear and woeful smile have the power to change how we look at life. It is folly to try to control everything in your life, but it is wisdom to see the opportunities and change that are welcoming you. The song in the trees, the chirping of the crickets, or water running over the hot stone bed- they are all there to let you know that your world is working towards peace. I am glad to hear that you are hearing Nature’s song and I hope that peace finds you and fills your life (as much as peace can happen with a busy farm girl, haha.).

    I am looking forward to exploring more of your blog (I’m a newcomer) and reading more in the future!
    ~Bill

    Like

    1. Wow! Thank you, Bill! What a lovely and thoughtful comment to write. We have been on this ten acres for about six years now (I quit my in-town job at the same time), and it has changed me… healed me, if that can be said. Daisy deer has been the greatest teacher – the best medicine. The words you just wrote really hit home for me. Finally, after decades of struggle in my life, nature is leading me down the path to inner peace and love.

      Your comment made my morning. Thank you so much for sharing your kind words! ~ Lori

      Like

  10. Yeah. We move on, but I think every loss I have ever experienced takes a small piece of me with it. You are a tough soul, and daisy and spirit are beautiful.

    Like

    1. Hmm, that tough soul must come from years of conditioning in “tough” life lessons! Loss is difficult for all of us, I think. And watching Daisy live as the wild things do is really hard on a human mother. I hope she knows what I feel… there just isn’t a language or words for emotion.

      Daisy and Spirit are beautiful! I wish you could be here to watch them play together in the evenings, and to watch little Spirit run like the wind! You would smile a big, happy smile, Mike.

      Like

  11. That pool has me dreaming away oO that view, those tiles, the clear water! Us humans really tend to clamp onto situations, feelings and things though don’t we. A good lesson we can learn from pure animals again. What a relaxing and thoughtful post..

    Like

    1. Thank you, Anouchka. What a lovely comment. I am so thankful to have the experiences with animals that I have. No communication… but oh what they teach us! I like your comment about them being pure. You always say the most beautiful things! What a loving spirit you have.

      Like

  12. Big Sister, this was a beautiful post! First of all, I admire all the hard work you do, keeping up your acreage; your place is beautiful because of it. And your time in the pool is most certainly well deserved. But what I really love is your openness to the signs that surround you. I believe the clouds, and even the vulture, were speaking to you that day, as so many times before. We are all surrounded by signs every day, but whether we choose to stop and observe, or press forward with our busy day and ignore; it’s our call. I find that when I’m most stressed, is also when I have no time to look around me and absorb the beauty. I’m happiest when I can find time to take a walk in nature, or to pray with a clear mind. You have a most beautiful soul, Big Sister. I love you!

    Like

    1. Baby Sister, what a wonderful and loving comment. You know very well it took me many years to slow down and pay attention. I think it comes with age… and for me, it took being here closer to nature (and especially Daisy deer) to open my eyes to signs and every day observations. I wish I had discovered this peace and tranquility long ago. It feels so good… so happy. Be sure to follow your instinct to walk and observe. MAKE the time… you’ll never regret it. I love you so much!

      Like

  13. I’m so glad you’ve come to this place. It’s funny – that Jimmy Buffett song is the one that helped me move on after the destruction of Hurricane Ike. My favorite version is here . The video gives it a little edge of humor, craziness – it makes it human. I think we all would do better if we wore the kind of watches that crazy man was selling – one that just says “now”.

    And now – you and Daisy and her fawn are moving on.

    Like

    1. Thank you for such a wonderful comment! Actually, that day in the pool watching the clouds was the first time I’d ever heard that song! I agree, I like the version you linked to. My life now is kind of like a “Now” watch. Except for keeping a schedule to have meals ready for FD during the day, the rest of my day is up to me. I know FD is ready to be on “Now” time just as soon as he retires! That’ll be great!

      Like

  14. Hi Lori, I have been reading your posts about the unfolding drama of Daisy and her fawns. Yes, life can be turned on its head in an instant. On that hot summer morning, there was no hint of what was to happen and the sadness and suffering to follow for all concerned.
    Now that Daisy is recovering from her wounds and there is an acceptance of Rowdy’s disappearance, I hope you will see Spirit develop into a strong young adult under the guidance and care of Daisy.

    Like

    1. Oh, thank you so much Margaret. It has really helped me to hear so many positive comments about this tragedy. Your words mean so much to me. Spirit has done well so far. Daisy is allowing Spirit alone time, which is normal at this age. We observed this last year with three little bucks that came here for water and feed. They often rested by the water tub without their mama’s for hours. I was just reading the other day that when does are born with a buck or bucks in multiple births, they tend to have more testosterone in their systems. If that is the case, Spirit should develop into a strong and confident young lady, like her mother. I am happy to report that Daisy is healing very well.

      Like

Comments are closed.