Monday, March 29, 2010

a yawning gulf

(Nope, not referring to the state of my sleep-deprivation these days, because that is getting a little better.)

Saturday I took an absolutely fantastic spinning workshop with Nelda Davis, a local spinning guru. Even better, my mom and friend Chris were in the class with me, plus three other lovely women, so it was a fantastically enjoyable day all the way around. My knowledge of sheep breeds, wool characteristics and fiber preperation is starting to come together and gel in a way that helped me to understand a great deal of what Nelda was talking about (truly, the woman is a fount of spinning and wool knowledge). It was one of those classes where a developing skill gets the tools it needs to expand into the next level of accomplishment, and my mind was spinning (sorry) with the possibilities on the way home.

It was also, thanks to my family, a lovely day off from the stress of the animals these days. Stress is a relative term, mind you, and more refers to the intensive level of management that we have going on right now. We have four different groups (rams, non-pregnant ewes, pregnant ewes, lactating ewes) and every one requires a different level of care. I found myself having to give detailed instructions at various points in the day (a representative set: "OK, now you let out Clover and Henrietta because the frost is off the grass, give them hay but no grain. Pick out the barn, let Farrah and her lambs out of the jug, give her hay and grain, keep Hermione and her lambs in the jug, no grain but alfalfa hay is fine today.") Even though I was miles away and very involved in something else, I found myself checking my watch reflexively and calculating how long until the bottle baby's next feeding.

So when I came home and was going through my mail, it was somewhat of a jerk back to a long-ago reality to find my NJ lawyer's registration and a magazine entitled "100 Top NJ Super-Lawyers," or something along those lines. The latter was chock-full of perfectly coiffed lawyers in dark suits, posing in front of law books and trying to look knowledgeable and trustworthy. Somewhere out there is a picture or two of me in the exact same stance, looking quite a bit younger and with no hay bits in my hair. It struck me, not for the first time, how far away that world is from the one I am in right now. As college tuition is looming on the not-too-distant horizon, it is undoubtedly a world I will have to rejoin someday. But I was perfectly content yesterday to mark off "still retired" on my lawyer's registration form, and put it in the mail before heading back to the barn for the next feeding.

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