Wintry Woolly Wonders

I find myself sitting here looking out the window from my upstairs yoga, sewing, crafting and computer / photo farmhouse studio wondering how I ever got to this place, what set in motion the events that led me to this farm and to come full circle from wanting to plow fields and grind feeds and 'breed to raise' animals to simply watching snow fall placidly among the twisting, snow laden trees, watching nature itself define what grows, where the animals settle on this wintry day. I sit here knowing it will soon be time to go WALKABOUT with the "Girli-Whig" Guardian Pack, Sissy, Annie and Mikey--the three Anatolian livestock guardian dogs who lie at the moment three feet from our wood stove downstairs, waiting for me to make the slightest move towards putting on my boots or sounding the zipper of my long down vest, so necessary today in the wind and snow. I can see my horse, 'Dog', and her companion - donkey, 'Eoyore', hunkered down beneath the tall cedar just up the draw from the woodshed outside the window, protected from the wind, sheltered from the snow. In those earlier years when I started this venture, I would have rushed to take them to the barn -- only to have them leave as soon as I turned my back and the barn door flew open, to go exactly where they are now, sheltered from the wind and snow. How anthropomorphic it is for us to think we know the perfect shelter for our animals in a storm...how we read into them, what we-who have lost the instinct to know 'where to go in a blizzard' in the wild-think best when nature has equipped them over eons of time with the ability to know . It has taken me all 40 years here to learn, from observing the Earth and its native plant and animal life and from being among our livestock and dogs and nurturing our gardens, that balance and harmony come from WITHIN the environment, not from us and what we want of it. Those three dogs I mentioned above will go out in that environment shortly, and they'll not be back 'til morning--they'll have had their rest in our anthropomorphic wood stove setting and be ready to become a part of the 'wilding' elements, ready to defend their sheep against all harm, ready to hunt moles and voles and mice tuckered beneath the snow mounds, ready to play like all creatures, human, wild, and 'of the farm' sending snow in all directions, sliding into one another and me, grasping at snowflakes as they fall. Life is Good Today....


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