Spindly is a newborn lamb’s long, dark legs curled under its tiny, wet frame. The newborn bleats and mewlings exchanged between concerned mama and sweet baby. Soft, lovely communications of another language, as if to say, “I’ve waited so long to meet you!” The trembling effort it takes to stand for the first time. Step. Fall to the earth. Catch my breath. Try again. Soon they’ve got it down-pat and those spindly limbs under a bit better control, though not quite enough to go romping about just yet. Spindly is those timid first steps, the happy wag of a tail as they discover Mom’s sweet, yellow milk for the first time. And their contended sighs as they entwine their too-long legs once more and take a much-earned rest in the warmth of the cushiony hay.

Spindly reminds me of an old rocking chair, armrests and rockers worn smooth by years of use. Wood ingrained with thousands of stories, tales of the good ole days, and tears. If only it could replay the years’ moments with each softly creaking rock. A glass of sweet tea on the wrought-iron table nearby. Beads of condensation dripping slowly as the summer temperature creeps upward and watermelon juice drips off a sweaty chin. Stars appearing in the navy blue ocean overhead. Learning constellations and making up new ones. Spending nights on the front porch, swatting mosquitoes and listening to the end-of-day songs. Tree frogs peeping, bullfrogs croaking, mockingbirds saying goodnight with their pilfered songs. Lightning bugs waking to dance, timid ones hovering above the grass, while bold species fly among the tallest branches.

It is the reddish-orange, jointed legs of a yellow- and black-speckled spider spinning her web each evening. Assuming her post in the center, the hungry bull’s eye on a silken dartboard, and patiently waiting for the lines to jiggle. It is the same spider cleaning her messy web, its neatly placed pattern now skewed by buggy mummies. Crystalline drops of dew clinging to the lines the next morning, her belly full from the insect feast. Resourceful creature, recycling her fibers for use tonight.

Spindly is under each newborn foal, lamb, kid, and calf. Beginning their life, regenerating spring on each farm. It is hidden in the corners where bugs find their funerals but spiders give new eight-legged life. And all the memories in between, captured in the spindles of the chair where life is revisited and mulled over with each calming rock.


(The photo above is our first set of twins for the 2018 lambing season, Jackson Storm and Smokey (Cars 3 fans here!))


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