Wednesday, September 29, 2010

sheep know how to savor

Sheep know how to savor. They may appear to be ripping grass and eating fast, but that's not the case at all. In fact they are just filling their gas tanks for a long day of happy chewing later on. Every time I drop down morning hay or let them on new pasture I see the same bit. Sheep acting like fools to get that first stomach loaded with food and then they slow down. They stop the frantic chase and start to sniff mint leaves and nose the ground for fallen apples. They know how to relax, ease into their long day of cud and comfort. They might start their days in a rush but once they realize they'll probably survive to see nightfall: they let go of all anxiety, sit on the hill, watch the world and chew. They aren't bothered by wind, flies, barking dogs across the street or the occasional rainstorm. They savor the morning's hay a second time and let the world worry about itself till morning.

It's not a bad lesson, this.

7 Comments:

Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

I agree, it's not a bad lesson. I wish that once I figured out that I'll make it until sunfall, I could slow down and savor the day a bit more. I think we can learn a lot from animals, each species has it's own lesson. This summer a squirrel was making his?/her? nest way up in a tree, above the walkway to our henhouse. I liked to check on it each day to see how much the nest had grown. I think it was about the last week of August, one morning I went out to let the girls out, and saw the nest on the ground, in the middle of the walkway. I felt so very bad for this squirrel. But the more I got thinking about it, the more I realized that when that squirrel came back to his/her nest (no doubt with a mouthful of leaves and twigs to add to it) and saw that it had all crashed down I'm sure he didn't stand there, with his hands on his hips, huffing and puffing, and cursing out that blasted nest. nope. I bet he looked at the spot where the nest used to be, possibly looked down on the ground, and went off (mouth still full of leaves and twigs) to find a new place to build. I really took this lesson to heart. When things go wrong, there's no need to get all steamed up, curse everything and everyone to hell, and mourn over what 'could have been'. We just need to find a new spot to start the new project, stop wasting time, and get to work.

Sorry this comment is so long, but I thought it tied in nicely to the fact that 'sheep know how to savor'.

September 29, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Harpy 101 said...

I LOVE this lesson and the wonderful description of it.

Treehuggers kitchen, I loved yours, too! After being fired from a truly horrible job last week, this lesson lends a lot of validation to the fact that I'm very happy about it. It's the best possible thing.

Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, once said that human beings are the only animals that respond t0 (I'll paraphrase here) freaked out authority figures. Animals recognize authority in the calm/assertive stance, and respond to that in a balanced and functional way. I think that the animal way of functioning in the world has a ton to teach, well, ME at least, and I appreciate the way you and Jenna pointed it out here. Nice!

Thank you!

September 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

My husband never gets excited about anything. That's not to say he doesn't blow his top, but that's more blood sugar related and we've learned how to manage that better. It's just when things go wrong, he tends to just take it in stride, and I've taken to counting on that in him.

Me- I cuss up a storm. Then I apologize to God. I do that a lot, actually.

I think the lesson here is a good one, and I'll work on it....

September 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Sarah Donner said...

Hey Cold Antler Farm!

I'm a singer/songwriter/creative type. Here is the Irrigation Song I wrote while on tour and passing through the long state of Kansas. We made a short music video in the minivan for your pleasure. Enjoy and feel free to pass on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUOYG22tFSU

Happy Drainage!
Sarah Donner

--

Cats are people too.
www.sarahdonner.com

September 29, 2010 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Tyrone said...

Hi Jenna,
Just discovered your blog on Mother Earth news. I've read a few of your blog posts and, I have to agree! I discovered my own love of farm life quite by accident at the age of 34. You see, I had become disenchanted with my job as a steelworker, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something completely different...car sales. Turns out I was a lousy car salesman (bit of a cutthroat business) and soon found myself out of a job and raising two kids on my own. I had to find work and FAST! My dad told me about a farmer who was looking for reliable help, so I paid him a visit. After talking with the guy for a while, we shook hands, just like people used to do in the old days, and I started work the next day. My first job was building a fence around a five acre orchard. I'd never built a fence before, so it was a learning experience. I have to admit, I'd never even considered farm work seriously before, and certainly never thought farming would become something I might enjoy, let alone love. For a while, I told myself that it was only temporary, until I could find something more appropriate. But then I started to notice things that I never noticed before...like a herd of Elk, not ten feet away, the freedom of no cell phone reception, the therapeutic effect of just sitting and watching chickens do what they do. You see, before then, I thought farming was nothing more than backbreaking hard work from sunup to sundown with little pay. Turns out, the work isn't always that hard, and it's almost always immediately gratifying. And you learn so much. I learned how to raise livestock, how to manage a pasture system, how to improve soil quality without resorting to chemicals, how to improve water quality, how to manage a deer population, how to save an old barn, how to put a dying horse out of it's misery (a bad day for everyone) how to appreciate a healthy pasture, and countless other things. If you'd asked me ten years ago if I would ever consider living on a farm, I'd say "not in a million years!" But for the last six years, saving up money to buy my own little farm has become my life's ambition.
Having said that, I love your blog! Great writing style you've got there. I've bookmarked it, and I'll be checking in from time to time to see whats new, so keep it up.

Ty

September 29, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yes, great lesson...but more importantly: it looks like your sheep is smiling in the photo, and that just makes me giggle. Keep 'em coming!

September 29, 2010 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

that might look like a smile, but really it's just maude smiling because somewhere a happy four-year-old fell off a swingset.

September 29, 2010 at 6:58 PM  

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