This morning I found myself wishing for that moment of clarity I had when I was stuck in the pigpen last fall. I’d gone in to retrieve Leif’s water dish and the door swung shut behind me. The second I heard it slam I twirled and whacked my head on a roofing nail, one of the many that sprouted down through the plywood ceiling. The pen is four feet tall in front, three feet tall in back. After five minutes of useless yelling and pushing I turned the water dish over and sat down. Several deep breaths later I reassured myself that I’d be fine for an hour or so; then my friend, Vicki, would arrive and I’d be rescued.
Deep breaths in a pigpen are not the nice, deep, cleansing breaths that one might achieve in a yoga class or on a hike. These breaths had real oomph to them. The pen had been cleaned hours before but Leif used this pen like a cat uses a litter box. He had plenty of room outside to do his business but in his intelligent pig brain he had decided in was better than out. If not cleansing, these breaths were in fact clarifying – I really could not sit there for an hour waiting for someone to rescue me – I had to stay calm and I had to do something. I looked around the pen wondering what MacGyver would do. Remember how he’d neatly spread out his meager inventory of odds and ends to see what might be a tool for escape? My pockets were empty. Water and feed dishes were useless but there were a couple of hooks attached to the ceiling. This pen housed turkeys last year and their feeders had hung from two large hooks. I unscrewed one hook and after several attempts managed to reach the hook through a crack in the door and release the latch. Ta-da!
This morning everything had gone all wrong. Last night I forgot to put out the trash, I forgot to run the dishwasher, I couldn’t find the French press, one daughter was up at 5:00 coughing, my son kept crying because Daddy hadn’t been home to read to him last night and he couldn’t sleep without his story from Daddy and he was tired and didn’t want to go to school, I couldn’t find all the parts to the food processor and if the scones weren’t in within minutes they’d be too late for my daughter to have before school, and that darn cat Jack had me standing in the cold, wet doorway whilst he decided whether or not he wanted to go out (he didn’t) and I really just wanted to scream and yell and push or jump back in bed and hide and wait for someone to rescue me. Standing at the door waiting for the cat to make up his mind reminded me of sitting at the pigpen door; taking deep breaths and making up my mind to stay calm and do something.