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There is always a light in the darkness. At first, it may be so dim we have to struggle to see it.  Over time, it becomes lighter and brighter until it sends the shadows cast by tribulations running.  For us, the death of Thomas was heart breaking.  And then, within minutes, the light of joy shone brightly with the birth of a new calf.

Suzabelle provided us with a beautiful baby yesterday. At first, she appeared to be having a little trouble, which sent our concern meter flying off the chart.  We just didn’t need or want any more sadness on the farm.  But our worries were in vain, as after 20 minutes or so passed, we were blessed.  The baby is solid black on front and back, and has a complete snow white belt around its middle.  As she was cleaning the calf, I eased around to the back fence and took a few photos of Mama and baby.

The Country Boy gave it a bit, and mustered up enough courage to cross the pasture in an attempt to check the calf to make sure it really is okay, and to determine the sex. That courage quickly turned to strong caution as he got near.  You see, saying that Suzabelle isn’t our friendliest cow on the farm is a bit of an understatement.  Okay.  Let’s just tell the truth here.  She is one mean, ornery….cow.  Yeah.  That keeps it clean, even if it doesn’t quite get the point across as well as the other word would.  The closer Randy got, the lower her head came and the faster it shook from side to side.  As soon as she raised her front foot to paw the ground, Country Boy knew it was time to retreat.  And fast.

To determine whether or not it’s a boy or girl, we will fall back on Plan B. A pair of binoculars, a prayer that the calf stands or lays in such a way to give us a good view, and a ton of patience to stand, wait and watch for the perfect opportunity.  What we don’t want to do is to give Suzie any reason to abandon the calf as she did with her first.  Reasons like trying to move her to the barn.  We would do that because we are having bouts of rainy weather on tap this week, and it is our way of keeping Mama and baby protected from the weather.  Suzie sees it as us being mean, and she’ll take revenge by leaving us with a bottle baby.  Since the health of the baby depends on the colostrum in the Mama’s milk, we are just going to leave things as they are, and say a lot of prayers.

Although miracles don’t always show in big, almost perfect ways as they did on the farm yesterday, where one life is taken and another is given within so short a time period, I have noticed that they are there every day. The trick is to stand still a moment, even if it is scary to stop long enough to allow the dark swirls of problems to close in.  It is in the stillness that you are able to search for and find the small glimmer that is leading you out of the dark.  To me, it is a miracle just for the fact that I live on a farm.  On the farm, if I take the time, I can spot miracles scattered all around the place.  A miracle of new birth, the miracle of healthy animals.  The miracle in the seasons – each doing the job assigned to it so that the next season can do the work assigned to it.  And just the miracle of life itself.

This may just be another life lesson, but the one thing I have learned is that the problems I face on the farm helps me to become stronger and better prepared to handle the next ones that come along. It has taught me to more fully enjoy the good times.  And if I just stand still long enough to find the glimmer, then by making one slow step after another, I will find my way along the path.