Sunday, December 27, 2015

life and death and life

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

In this first photo, beyond Addi's hair and falls' dried out sunflowers, lay the vast expanse of our spring green pasture. Beyond that; our neighborhood, Payson city, and Dry mountain. But, just to the other side of the yellow ditch line lay two little unmarked graves. Addi made me aware of this yesterday morning while we were burning the weeds along the ditch banks and fence lines. These 2 particular spots are the resting places of little kittens born last spring. While my sister was visiting, her dog managed to get to the kittens and killed the whole litter. Tried to save some but to no avail. So sad.

“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?”
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

As Addi and I continued with our clean up we came across other little burial plots of animals we have loved and lost. A pile of regular old rocks at the base of a cedar post marks the grave of Sandra the rat, whom you may have seen in previous posts. Tumor on her tummy that healed and then she lost and eye. Rats are very fun pets and the kids loved them so much. Did not love cleaning there cages.

Kait took the time to place this rock on Ricky's grave. We finally talked Dad into letting us keep one of Izzy's puppies. Little red and white sleek pretty puppy. She was a good dog. She must have run out into the road one morning when Kait was the only one home. Someone carried her from the road and placed her little body near the front step and rang the doorbell. Kait buried her that afternoon. Thank you Kait.
Gyro the lamb. Grave marker, particle board and permanent sharpie marker. Our neighbors, the Beckstroms were kind enough to let us try our best to raise a few little bum lambs one spring. Also pictured in previous posts. Even after the Beckstroms gave them a good start and passed them on too us, we had a hard time keeping them alive. One survived. Thank you Beckstroms. One thing in life that is so cute, and gives you a happy feeling, is a little lamb pushing at the nipple on a pop bottle full of warm milk , excitedly waggling its woolly tail. (punctuations needed somewhere in that sentance) I am glad my kids could experience this, just like I did when I was a little girl.

Voodoo was a little black rabbit that we brought home from a visit to a sisters. Had no idea Bronson had painstakingly put the time into roughly carving his name into this little headstone.  He was just found dead in his cage.  We would let him out to nibble on the weeds and grass.  We think he may have eaten some that had been sprayed with poison.

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
                                                                               -Marcus Aurelius

Binx and Ashes.  I dont even know who or what they were.  These were stumbled upon while taking engagement photos for a couple I know.  Someones pets who were loved much and lost.  This makes me smile.

Addendum:   The previous paragraphs were written in the Spring of 2011.  Uncle Peter commented on my post before this draft, " I think 2011 should be the year of maintaining our blog."  That did not happen and now hear we are ending the year of 2015 soon to be 2016 and looking forward to spring again.
I finish this draft finally because of something that happened today, Dec. 26 the day after Christmas and the glorious day we celebrate as the Saviors birth.

Tiki passed from this world quietly on the eve of Christmas surrounded by a family that loved him dearly and I am certain he loved them.  Jess, our sister and aunt, called today and asked if they could come bury him in our back pasture.

The boys all worked to dig the hole and then buried Tiki.  Jess said a few things about Tiki, not in a corny way.  It was very sweet and touching.  He lived a very long happy life and brought much joy, happiness, and service to others.  

“So we see that the Lord intends to save, not only the earth and the heavens, not only man who dwells upon the earth, but all things which he has created. The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls.” (Conference Report, October 1928, p. 100.) J.F. Smith

Just on Christmas afternoon, we sat around the table remembering all the animals that have come into our lives and the joy they have brought.  This year in particular we lost 3 pets whom have been a significant part of the family for many years, memories to last a lifetime.  They have blessed our life.

A dear sweet neighbor of mine wrote this regarding her boys and their animals, 

"It is a blessing to raise my children, with the opportunity to live on a farm. But this morning, I realize how fragile life is for those beautiful animals . Last night, I watched my 17 year old, hold his new bull calf as it took its last breath. Death is hard, no matter what. Animals teach us so much about life. There will be other baby calves, but we will never forgot this one.

"The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.  Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man.  Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. 
  Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.”
 I believe this with all my heart.  All that we see teaches us to trust the Creator for all that we do not see. Especially in the spring with the new life and light that comes into the world, and also at this time of year of year when we celebrate Christ, His life, atonement, and the resurrection to come; my soul awakens and I do realize how fragile life is.  Animals do teach us so much about life and it is a blessing to have God's creatures touch our life and bring us joy. 
I have parents who love animals. A husband who, as a child, brought home every stray animal he came upon.  A mother-in-law who let him keep them.  Children who love animals too, with a loving dad who puts up with more than he should.  This is something I will always be thankful for. 

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