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Friday, May 02 2014

     There is a peace that comes with tending the flock. It is gift yielded only in the company of gentle beasts who live in the moment.  The easy pace of sheep and goats forces the shepherd to slow down, lulled by the steady grinding of teeth that turn plant fiber into milk, meat, and wool. This heals and renews the soul just as the pecking and scratching of chickens rejuvenates the land.

     A child knows when she is happy, but it takes many years for the woman to recognize something which stirs her soul. After years of trial and error, years of experimenting with societal expectations, she finally understands the 'click' - that something which clicks into place and fills an emptiness not even realized.

     Since Biblical times man has been tending the animals, alone in the wilderness with his flock and his God.  The world spins faster now, pulling us farther and farther away from the still quiet voice inside. Yet some of us stumble upon the answers of our ancestors - peace through the patient grinding of teeth, the pecking and scratching, which slows down our world and stirs our soul.

Webster's Dictionary has multiple definitions for the word.

Tending:

1) (archaic) to listen

2) to pay attention

3) to act as an attendant, to serve

4) to have or take charge of as a caretaker

5) to stand by in readiness to prevent mischance

     While on the surface we are the caretakers of our charges, I note the archaic definition 'to listen.' Is this not what all the quiet grazing, browsing, and pecking beg us to do? Listen. Listen to the silent screech of pulled grass, the pop of the branch as it swings back in place, the brush of soil thrown behind upturned feathered rears. Listen to the birds. Listen to the morning glories open. Listen to sunflowers turn. Listen to the earth. Listen to your soul. Listen to God. Just listen.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
One of my favorite things in the winter, is to sit on the front steps of a clear calm night. Look at the kajillions of stars and listen to the crunch-crunch of the hairy ponies in the corral, as they munch on their hay. Very relaxing.
Posted by Diane I. on 05/02/2014 - 11:55 AM
Well written...lovely.
Posted by Linda Nightsky Farm on 05/02/2014 - 01:47 PM
I also love listening to my hens sing. They are content and happy. Everyone needs to stop and listen for the little things in life.
Posted by Pam Thonsgard on 05/02/2014 - 09:47 PM
Beautifully written. One of my favorite activities as I garden is just to watch and listen. Wish I could watch some beautiful goats too. :-)
Posted by Sharon on 05/02/2014 - 10:29 PM

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