It was just about the time the rooster crows. My alarm beckoned me out of warm flannel sheets and I headed straight for a quick shower. I’d come home at dusk from sitting at the hospital with my grandpa. My body and heart were still tired. But duty called. Rylee woke herself at the same time but headed straight out to check on the latest goat mama due. Just as I was pumping shampoo she burst into the bathroom. “Babies born in the night, mama, hurry….this one, it’s not doing good.” I grabbed a towel and shot out of the shower to find her holding a terribly limp and freezing cold tiny baby goat. It was hardly breathing. Tiny nostrils flared ever so slightly. It did not move. I wrapped it in my bath towel and ran for clothing and the heater. We rubbed its little fuzzy body and held her close.
We woke two more (human) kids and took turns rubbing and warming and hoping. Too cold to even shiver, she just laid there at our mercy. She’d been born fourth. Mama had obviously attended well to the first three babies and they were licked clean and placed proper under the heat lamp that was there for an impromptu night birth just like this one. But one hadn’t made it there. Had been left for dead by the door to the pen on the cold ground.
The morning chores were quickly stacking up, goats to milk, bottles to feed to the older babies, three more babies to check on outside, kids hungry for breakfast, coffee to be had. I’m fairly sure I offered everyone tortillas for breakfast and a kind husband made me coffee. Rylee whispered, “can we call her Hope?”. I smiled my yes and knew that even if she wouldn’t make it, she still ought to be named. We brought her downstairs and held her close and dropped milk into her weak mouth and hoped she would be strong enough to swallow.
Everyone sort of held their breath. Slowly her eyes opened. Nearly every pair of hands loved on her, quietly willing her to live. Cautious optimism brimmed. All eyes on Hope.
Hope is the stalwart strength that draws us up to face another day. Hope is believing that your invisible sacrifice of love is being poured out into something worthwhile regardless of the payoff or lack-thereof. Hope is trying again when you want to give up. Hope is living out your promises and defying all odds in the process. Hope is believing greater things than we can imagine are in progress, seen and unseen.
Hope is acknowledging what might yet be.
Her official registered farm name will be “Little Foot MM Hope Rises”. Long name for such a little thing. It’s true. But it couldn’t be more fitting.