A thunderstorm used to mean very little to me in my cozy and contained suburbiverse. “Maybe” we’d lose electricity for an hour or two and we’d hug our children tightly so they wouldn’t feel scared.
Fast forward three years and relocate onto a homestead. A thunderstorm now brings the possibility of gale force winds and hail which both threaten the stability of our recently built goat tunnel/shelter and the safety of our animals. In a small paddock with electrofence, what if our goats get scared and knock down the fence again? What if they are lost in the hundreds of forested acres surrounding us? What if they get injured by hail?
Suddenly, a thunderstorm is a powerful force to be reckoned with. It holds the power to grind our efforts and investments into the mud.
I don’t mean that I live in fear of loss now. I mean simply that a thunderstorm is no longer a pretty little IMAX setting for the soundtrack of my moody life. It’s now a call to arms: an invitation to rise from bed, throughout the night, to watch closely, and to guard the well being of the animals under our care. It’s an opportunity to allow our pre-conceived notions of sustainable homesteading to be challenged by the realities of Nature and to learn from each new experience.