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A Story About a Pig and Patience

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

We raise a few pigs on our hobby farm in MN. A delightfully fat and furry heritage breed of guinea hogs.

Sadly, our oldest boar died unexpectedly in January. It was in the middle of a long deep freeze of subzero temperatures and seemingly constant blizzard conditions. No, he did not freeze to death. These breeds are specific to this region and he had shelter.

The boar died over night of an unknown and sudden illness. We found him the following morning.

But an odd thing occurred.

His warm body melted the snow beneath him as he lie taking his final respite. After passing, the frigid north winds quickly refroze the ground around him. When we discovered him, he was fully iced in. He resembled an petite wooly mammoth partially unearthed in an archeological dig.

This, in conjunction with record levels of snow, meant that we had no means to remove the pig. We would have to keep him isolated and wait until spring. Which for Minnesota…is May.

I did not love this scenario.

This pig haunted me.

I would sometimes sit quietly and imagine his body ripening in the sun, gelatinous, drawing in other creatures, and just being terrible mere yards from our back door. I could imagine what the smell would be. I thought of us trying to move him yet pulling him apart instead. It was dark.

I felt worried. I felt ashamed. We had failed.

I engineered creative ways we might dislodge this pig.

My best idea was to just burn down the paddock and shelter completely. Send him off to piggie Valhalla in true Viking fashion.

My much more relaxed husband Steve, spent considerably less time worried about the pig situation.

When I would discuss my newest plan for pig removal, he would just say…it will be ok.

In early April, Steve returned from the paddock (that had just received a fresh 13’’ of snow) to tell me that the pig was mostly decomposed already. Flat. Basically evaporated. A ghost.

I would love to have a video of my face. Utter shock. What?? How?? Really?

Yes. It’s called nature. Things die. They decay. They just go back to the earth. It’s a normal process. Even in the snow.

And I realized (yet again) that I get very worked up over problems that are not problems. I am not patient. I want to act and react and act again. I want to solve with vigor and purpose.

I am only recently able to entertain the word….allow.

Allowing things to naturally resolve. Allowing my children to mess up. Allowing my business to take an organic path. Allowing ease. Allowing love. Allowing emotions of all kinds.

This requires me to believe that ‘It will be ok’.

While I’d never ignore a serious red flag….I think there’s a fair amount of things that will resolve themselves.

When I led teams, I was well known for not answering morning phone calls. This was on purpose. 99% of problems evaporated (or got solved by the right people) when I didn’t answer right away.

I don’t advocate for ignoring your team, but you could try your version of this.

Could you let your kids fight? Can you let your team leave a meeting with no solution?

My point is…do you even know what things need your attention and what…is just a dead pig??????

RIP "Baconator" the Boar

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