A mockingbird. An Exhale. Tentative sheep finally rustle towards us rather than away, lured by ribbons of molasses twirled into oats. Their disgrunt has begun to be gentled in this new meadow. Pipping chicks gather under a heat lamp, plopping exhausted into mounds. They sleep in short shifts, switches flipped from on to off to on. Donatello the Guardian gambols on the deck’s mossy planks, an enormous pup, eager and gentle, his whites already muddied.
I can see these things this morning, but last week was a tropical storm of anxiety. My mind was hijacked, the way a limb is tossed in the current as the torrent rises. The sheep would surely be forever frightened of us. Each sleeping chick was clearly dead. The dog would be afraid of sheep. So much happened at once – sheep on Sunday, chicks on Wednesday, dog on Thursday. This was not what I had planned. But it turns out that rare breeds are, well, rare. You can’t just call and place an order to be delivered by Amazon Prime the day after tomorrow. When you finally find someone who has what you need, you have to pounce (or in this case, pounce, pounce, pounce) which can result in an avalanche of animals.
And perhaps this will be the only smooth morning, although I doubt that. But as seasoned farmers say, “Where there is livestock, there is deadstock.” (Thanks, seasoned farmers; just what I needed to hear.) But fortunately I have a superpower: when I need answers, just point me towards a bookstore, iTunes, a collection of podcasts, really any media at all, and I will magically happen upon whatever I need. This past week was no exception. The Freakonomics and Hidden Brain podcasts provided me with some soothing information indeed. First of all, I discovered that research shows that successful innovators feel just as much fear and doubt at the outset of a project as anyone else, they just don’t let it stop them if they are convinced they are moving in the right direction. So this fear and doubt isn’t a sign of something dreadful? Good to know. Then I learned that people who envision the future of an endeavor going beautifully tend to be less successful in their attempt than those who have concerns. I hope there is some correlation between the number of concerns and the success of the endeavor because my concerns have been legion. At this rate I should be blessed with a lifetime of healthy, leaping lambs and puppies. Wait – not supposed to be too cocky – ugh! Hopefully a little wishful thinking isn’t the end of the world.
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