Friday, June 22, 2012

The Birth of Backyard Kids

The Brand New Kid               Photo credit: Nancy Shobe

Enough with only allowing chickens and bees. Eugene, Oregon's City Council is considering adding goats to the city's backyard mix.

Current city standards require goat owners to have at least 20,000 square feet of backyard space. But, Council members are now "kicking"  around the idea of allowing goats on much smaller parcels.

Eugene's "sort of" neighbor, Portland, already allows goats in the city, with one caveat -- licensing is required. Eugene is considering adding goats without the added licensing.

To hear more about where Eugene's City Council is going with this, listen to the TV clip or read about it on KEZI - ABC TV news. Who knows? Maybe you'll be able to entice your own lawmakers into allowing backyard goats, if they don't already.

I have had personal experience with backyard goats. Well, perhaps that's not quite the truth. Rebecca, a friend of mine, raised backyard goats and I helped, kind of. I was there for their births.

I never imagined that animals were on my life's "plate." I grew up in a household completely  devoid of animals except for the random goldfish and my brother's stuffed piranha. Once my sister won the school's lizard to bring home for a couple of weeks. I decided to decorate its cage with some rocks because I thought it looked "lonely." But, when I placed in the first rock, it landed right on the lizard's head. That poor old lizard made a fast exit into heaven and I made a fast entrance into my bedroom for the evening. My Mom had the onerous task of explaining the situation to the school and I had the onerous task of having to sweet talk my sister for over a year. Sis, I'm still sorry for my destructive decorating skills-- but, I digress. . .

One of the beautiful things about being around animals is observing their births. No words can describe the powerful magic of seeing a human or animal being born. It's like all the souls gather in a joyful exuberance of twinkling color to welcome the new baby.

My first goat birth didn't disappoint. Rebecca and I were prepared with a goat birthing manual, two lawn chairs and glasses of  fresh-brewed tea. What we weren't prepared for was the three-day wait. And, what do you do for three days while you're waiting for birth? You begin to tell stories.

Rebecca and I spoke of old beaus and lost lovers. We sang the stories of our daughter's births. We laughed and giggled about life's silly plans and how, when we were teens, we thought we knew the future.  Layer upon layer, we revealed ourselves in ways we never had before. Like the shedding bark on a Eucalyptus, we revealed our core.

Birth's offerings are far greater than just the welcoming of a new life into the world. Birth blows comfort into a room like the soft whisper of a new mother. It allows people the chance to gather, tell their stories, to share moments of their lives that may never be told again.

Birth envelopes people safely in its protective arms and holds close to its bosom their secrets. It reminds us of our sacredness, our uniqueness, our gifts.

Birth weaves a sacred golden thread through the hearts of all who gather and ties the ends together with an indelible knot. Most of all, birth gives us the beginning to a brand new story.

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