wu wei schoolin'

Got my backside schooled in ye olde “wu wei”* last night, courtesy of our animal charges:

Had just got back from a visit with the doc. Doc confirmed what I really didn’t want to hear: all the recent soreness, stiffness and swelling was due to an arthritis flare-up. The good news: if I keep active, the soreness recedes. No problems keeping active here on the farm, but the news itself left me feeling tired and grumpy, and there was major work needing to be done before dark.

Got materials ready to section off part of the primary pen for the younger goslings (who needed to get out of the house, NOW), and saw the pups full of energy and really needing a walk. How they h*ll was I going to manage them and put up the new enclosure at the same time? Sighed, thought “Ahh, f*ck it”, opened the gate, and let them loose**. The brain-fart that precipitated that action? Figured they’d probably hang out around the house as they usually did before we kenneled them with the birds, but oh. Oh, no. No, they tore off like their hindquarters were on fire, leaving nothing but dust in their wake. Sh*t. Do I run after them? There was a snowball’s chance in h*ll that I was gonna catch up at that point. Screw it, let’s just put up the fence.

With the pups gone, it was actually a perfect time to let the chickens and geese free-range, with no extra energy needing to be expended for pup training or supervision. Let the chickens out into the wider pen to scratch, let the geese out into the yard to forage, and got to work. Fence section was up within an hour. Miraculously, once the fence was completed, the chickens were ready to go back to their coop. Easily got them into their covered run. The geese were ready to come back as well. Herded the geese into their enclosure with no issues. Wait, this is too simple... oh yeah. Still gotta find the pups!

Grabbed the leashes, and started walking around, calling for the pups. Found the pups on the trail we currently use on their regular walks (hooray!). They were happy to see me, and I thought, “you know? Let’s leave off the leash, and see if they’ll voluntarily follow me back to their pen”. Sonofab*tch, they did.

Tired geese, chickens, dogs... led to an easy integration of the goslings into their new outdoor pen. I was one grateful grrl.

[photo: Godzilla in secondary pen, in front of house. He's fierce. Oh yes, yes he is.]

*Wu wei: “Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts his will against the world, he disrupts that harmony. Taoism does not identify man's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that man must place his will in harmony with the natural universe.”

**I do not recommend letting pups/dogs loose like this if you live in an urban/suburban environment. We have enough land, and such little traffic, that the danger is relatively low.


  1. Sometimes after we change his diet, our puppy has a "wu WEI!" moment. Enough to drive one out of the house.


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