This is a week that has been defined by death and by heart, and by some relatively simple revelations. Wild nature is generous with beauty and presence. Being alive on earth is an extended opportunity to feel and love in ways that surprise us. And embedded in all of that is the risk of heartbreak and loss.
Last weekend, our sweet goat Oncé was attacked and killed by a mountain lion, right in front of her 3 month old kids, Doce and Claudia.
I have no doubt Oncé refused to leave the side of the pen where her kids were, while the other animals surely fled once the lion came in the pasture. Oncé’s fiercely protective instinct, her love, made her more vulnerable to attack.
I knew Oncé for several years. She’s responsible for demystifying goat for me. She’s the first goat I milked, and the first goat I kissed. She’s the first goat whose eyes I really looked into, and felt some sense of kinship with. She was an old soul, a very social animal, and almost everyone who passed through the farm connected with her. She was central to our community.
When Oncé gave birth at the end of April, I fell in love with her babies immediately. They have some of her spunk, and her openness. They, too, want to connect. And now, Oncé will live on through them, and ease a bit of our collective heartbreak.
Life is precious. The reminders are everywhere. I felt it deeply last Friday, when terror struck Norway. I felt it again when I learned about Oncé. You never know what predator is lurking at the edge of your pasture. Don’t wait to live life the way you ache to. Don’t shy away from love. Let your soul be touched.
It’s the most terrifying and beautiful things that crack us wide open, exposing the raw and vulnerable flesh of our hearts to fullness and transformation. My heart sure is getting a workout this week.