In my past life as a teacher, figuring out the classroom space was the most important first step into settling into what would become my professional home for many long and happy years: Room 202 in my middle school. I remember walking into that room for the first time and taking in the bare and bereft looking space with consternation: how to make this a practical and inviting space in which all the learning I was envisioning to take place? But, my kids helped me find my way, and by the end of that first year our room became the place we all loved – the place my students wanted to return to long after they’d left sixth grade behind.
In my new life as a shepherd (to be, because sheep won’t be arriving here until next summer), I am again trying to figure out my space. Our farm has not housed sheep for many years, and although the barns and fences and gates are in place already, they have sat unused for a long time. Our lovely rolling pastures, perfect for sheep, are now wild with weeds and thistle. The big barn, a beautiful and imposing structure, is an utterly intimidating place.
I am back to square one.