Of Pigs, Leaky Pipes, and Acorns
Meet Rosy and Gretta, two new members of the J-K mini-farm. They are Idaho Pasture Pigs, from our friends Brian and Angela at Nature’s Roots Farm in Oxford, NC. It’s been a thrill to welcome them and put them to work in the woods rooting up weeds, eating table scraps, and just being adorable. Sylvia has always wanted to have pigs, and Karla, who grew up on a hog farm in central Wisconsin, is experiencing a sweet echo of childhood days.
This morning began our fifth day with these little lovelies. I headed out at 5:30 to walk the dog, feed the duck, and check on the pigs. Dewy grass, clean air, clear skies, and a full moon… It felt nice to begin the day with these simple things. Then I came in the house and Karla led me to the living room where our ceiling was bulging with a water leak right under the upstairs shower.
I feel like when you get diagnosed with cancer, your name should go on a list of people guaranteed to not have other crappy things happen in life – a no car trouble, no major appliance breakdowns, no wobbly-screechy wheels on your shopping carts, no leaky pipeslist. Sadly, there is no such list, so stage IV cancer occasionally and weirdly gets temporarily upstaged by a plumbing catastrophe. Sigh… So we moved wet furniture and pulled out some fans, and I spent the morning calling contractors and insurance people.
Having done all that there was to be done (for now), Juno and I went back out and spent some time in the woods behind our house. Rosy and Gretta love nuts, so I took a jar with me and filled it with acorns and hickory nuts. That’s one way to handle a mess like this – spend an hour in the wood foraging for pig treats. It was delightful.
I’m vividly reminded that we don’t get to write the entire script for our lives. Some things just happen without warning and without permission. But we do get to ask, “How will I bear light even as I bear disappointment?” So, on days like today, I protect and celebrate all the light I can gather. I give thanks for my own capacity to create, experience, and receive joy. And like a pig with a pile of acorns, I dive in, head first.
I have stage IV lung cancer and I write about that here. If you're out there and you're fighting cancer, solidarity. If you read "lung cancer" and you wonder if I was a smoker, read this. Living with cancer is a daily, death-defying reality - one that pushes me to not simply defy death, but to affirm life, bless goodness, cheer for wonder, celebrate beauty... you get the idea. I hope I do that here.