Mother’s Day

I was looking forward to the regular Sunday Creek Freak work party at the Restoration and Enhancement project.  In addition to the four steady College Corps Fellows–including Kennedy, whom I’d seen in a fine performance of a bizarre play at the Spanos theatre the night before, plus grandson Lucas–two new volunteers had signed up.

Late in the previous week the unfinished tasks of moving tree trunks into position together with Josh and his Skid Steer and starting the contracted maintenance program of weeding the plantings, along with testing the irrigation system, were completed.


Earlier in the week the first field trip along the creek project led by Creek Lands Conservation took place, involving 60 fifth graders bussed in for three hours.


I’d been anxiously working toward these outcomes for months.

After 7:00 AM shopping for dinner groceries and snacks for the Fellows, I drove to the main gate under overcast skies to carry out Sunday chores– watering starts, feeding the barn cat, opening the hoop house, and putting out alfalfa for the sheep in the pen.  When I got to the feed shed, there they were, two baby lambs, their umbilical chords still wet and hanging, one bloodstained mother and her still pregnant sister..

An unwilled Hallelujah! sprang from my lungs. Mother’s Day!  I pulled out the phone and took pictures to send to staff and family.

Inside the enclosure I lowered myself creakily to the ground but soon felt as if I was floating in the still atmosphere around mother and babies.

The quiet was broken by notification of a text message from Lana, the new volunteer who was waiting at the assembly point by the bridge.  I drove out to meet her and the others and told them we’d go to the sheep shed before work.  There we were joined by Teresa and her group who had earlier heard my shout.

20 minutes later we gathered tools and wheelbarrows and returned to the Creek path.  I sent six of the helpers to load wood chips from the pile into orange buckets and spread them for mulch around the new plants.  Michael joined me to load the seven heavy stumps I’d cut earlier in the week and unloaded them at the Outlook and Water Shed.

By 10:30 the mulch job was done and we met for snacks and chat at the picnic table by the shed. Afterwards the whole crew teamed up to roll a log Michael and I couldn’t budge into its rightful spot.

Then they resumed last week’s work on the staircase to the creek bank while Lucas helped me clear brush and logs for an adjoing future single-track trail loop.

Following the  conclusion of the work party at noon, I dropped him off at Orcutt and went home to remind the grandsons about the holiday dinner by text, phone and email.

After my midday nap, I biked back to the farm to revisit the lambs. There I met Shane, Candace and their baby August enjoying the occasion in the afternoon sunshine.

Back home again, I chewed half a gummy, opened a beer, studied the recipe and got the garlic stuffed City Farm-raised leg of lamb into the oven. Ian and Ethan arrived at 6, Lucas and Claire at 6:30. Mothers Jan and Claire were honored at the feast.

I can still feel the hard hugs from those three strong  young men I used to hold as babies.


2 Responses to “Mother’s Day”

  1. Ty Griffin Says:

    Fabulous, Steven. Thanks.

  2. Lee Clark Says:

    What a fabulous post. Thank you for helping us vicariously enjoy YOUR wonderful Mother’s Day.

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