I sat in the hole I had dug, knees bent, my head resting on the top edge. It was like being in an earthen bathtub, comforting, held by the earth.
Through grass and it’s roots, hard-packed soil, rocks, darker denser soil and more rocks I dug a grave, with Jon’s help, for Zelda. The same kind of earth we moved for Red, only more of it.
It’s hard work and even though I’d rather not do it, it also feels good to do. It’s a ritual of death that works for me.
It’s strange digging a grave for Zelda when she’s still alive, laying just 20 feet away. But it’s a reality that when one of our farm animals dies, we have to be prepared to do something with the body.
Zelda, though old, is still a big and heavy animal.
If we didn’t dig a hole for her close by, we’d have to get help moving her after she was dead. And because it takes a few hours to dig a hole, it’s best to have it ready before she dies.
When it was deep enough, I looked down into the hole and actually found it inviting. That’s when I stepped into it and sat down.
This is what I’d like for my body when I’m dead, I thought. A hole in the ground just big enough for me to curl up in.
It will be a good place for Zelda’s body too.
4 thoughts on “Held By The Earth”
Maybe a strange question but does Zelda have a coat worth sheering? Would that just feel too evasive after death? Sorry if this is too weird, I was just thinking nothing .uch gets wasted on your farm and she might be able to contribute once more.
I love that you’re thinking about wasting nothing on the farm Carolyn and the idea of Zelda being able to contribute for the last time. But I’ve only been shearing Zelda once a year in the spring for the past couple of years because her wool doesn’t grow as fast anymore. Ido appreciate your question and point of view.
What a cozy and lovely space to return to dust. And a LOT of work, I’ve dug graves but never for such a large animal. Your arms must be gorgeous and buff.
Rest in peace Zelda, I know you are ready and you’ve been a good sheep. You had a happy flock and humans who respected and cared for you. You’ve been blessed.
Thank you Elizabeth.