Early morning spinning

It’s still dark outside, but I finished sleeping, so I got up, ate breakfast, and am now at the computer.  Maddie died Friday afternoon on her own, peacefully, Kat, I’m happy to say. I resisted calling the neighbor, since she really didn’t appear to be in pain, and allowed her to die in her own time.  Had she looked pained, or had other complications, I would have called him, but given the choice, I like the idea of a natural, painfree, attended death. (Read “Dying Well” by Dr. Ira Byock!)  So, I sat with her a lot that day, in between other chores, and talked to her and scratched her ears and petted her and thanked her for all the lambs and fleeces she’s given me over the years.  And finally, she stopped breathing, and drifted away.  She is now in the process of becoming one with the earth, courtesy of the compost pile.  It was tough: always is with death, I think.  But it felt good and right and somehow, holy.   She enriched my life in many ways, as do all the animals and plants on this farm, and I am grateful.  They seem to give me so much more than I give them.

Today, a woman whose husband bought my extra spinning wheel for her a year ago as a surprise, is coming with her two homeschooled daughters, 9 and 11, for an afternoon of spinning and talking.  I am looking forward to spending time with them.

And I continue spinning, trying to spin a spindle of yarn a day, which takes a couple of hours at the least.  So far, I’m keeping up, but mostly, I think, because I’ve been listening to the Janet Evanovitch books on tape.  The murders have started getting a little too gruesome, however, so I think it’s time to switch to Harry Potter, my all time favorite tapes.  I never tire of them.


2 Responses to “Early morning spinning”

  1. Katrina Hall Says:

    I love the way you put Maddie’s end -“it felt good and right and somehow, holy” –
    Years of reading Buddist texts, especially “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”, which stress joy and peace, over tears and stress, really changed the way I dealt with death. When I had to put my dog down, I did exactly as you did with Maddie – it was very right, and peaceful.
    As a voracious reader who sometimes reads mysteries – have you read Tony Hillerman? Less blood and gore, more Navajo culture.

  2. Lasell Bartlett Says:

    Ira Byock’s book was my guide when I was with hospice as a clinical social worker. Do you know he’s right here in our neighborhood? At least he was two years ago, at DHMC in Hanover. I’ve been to one of his presentations. As good in person as in his book.

    I spent most of yesterday with a sick and dying (I don’t think this one will surprise me with ongoing livingness like the turkey has) very young goat kid. I have had wild animals show up on my doorstep for their last few minutes or hours of life. I had mixed feelings about this role, but came to accept that Mother Nature knows something I don’t, and if animals feel good in their dying process with me there, so be it. It’s emotionally painful for me at moments but mostly I’m drawn into a meditative state.

    On another topic, I’ve just discovered the children’s stories (books on CD at the local library) in the Artemis Fowl series. Adventurous, creative, interesting characters — humans, pixies, dwarfs, goblins. You might enjoy them when you’ve gone through all the Harry Potter stories!

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