The idea of celebrating the return of the light is thousands of years old. The Chinese celebrate Dongzhi, a holiday rooted in the concept of Yin and Yang and finding balance with the light and sun. Yalda is an ancient tradition observed by Iranians that celebrates victory of light over the darkness; usually celebrated by eating nuts, watermelon, and pomegranates. Pre-Christan pagans observed The Feast of Juul (Yule) by burning Yule logs in honor of Thor and scattering the ashes in the fields as fertilizer for the next growing season.
As we celebrate the completion of another cycle of life, death, and rebirth, I take a step back to reflect on where the year has brought us. In March and April, we welcomed seven new goat kids into the world and adopted four new doelings into the herd. While they may nibble at my clothing or are always under-foot, watching each grow into their own personalities, form bonds, and find their place in the herd has been a gift. Even Barbara-June, a goat-kid that came to us with pneumonia, has persevered and formed a life-long friendship with Pearl.
However, with new life comes unwelcomed death. In May we had to make the difficult decision to euthanize one of the first goats that came to StoneDog Ridge. Hermy was a mom and grandma to three generations of healthy, strong, beautiful kids. She was the queen of the herd, a kind of goat that wouldn’t take nonsense from anyone, especially the dog. After her death, her daughter, Fleur, has taken her place as herd queen and the cycle continues.
I wish we could say 2021 has been a year of renewal. However, with the newest Covid variant sweeping across the world, it’s easy to feel stuck in what seems like a never-ending cycle. I choose to believe we are still in the process of renewal since the pandemic has had many people rethinking their values and priorities. Whether that means spending more time with family, setting healthy work boundaries, or creating new goals, society is in the process of redefining values and changing for the better. As the world adapts to meet these new challenges, it gives me hope for a happier, more balanced life.
Like many other cultures, we celebrate the winter solstice as a reminder that the sun will return again, thus starting a new cycle of many trials and adventures. We at StoneDog Ridge are excited to see what the new year brings us and are grateful for the many wonderful people we met this year.
Have a safe and happy holiday season, we look forward to seeing you in 2022!
From now until the end of the year, 20% off all fall and holiday lotions. Get your favorite scent now before they’re gone – they won’t be back until Fall 2022!
Olga is a new doeling that came to us this spring with her sister Mabel from a meat goat farm. She’s still developing her personality, however, she loves grain, marshmallows, animal crackers, and back scratches.
These gluten-free shortbread and gingerbread goats are always a favorite around the holiday season!