I’ve missed spending time with the sheep this summer, just sitting with them for long periods of time and having them crowd around to sniff, and ask for chin scratches and nuzzles.
It’s been the summer of gardening: new raised beds for vegetables, bringing old flower beds back to life, attempting a dye garden, and (of course) all the weeding and watering that goes along with gardening. Occasionally, one or more of the sheep would come down to the fence line to watch me at work, and I would feel guilty about choosing gardening over them, but not for long – summer gardening is short in this part of the world.
This week, the lower pasture has become available again for the flock. We’ve been renovating a workshop barn as an office space, which entailed cutting off the electricity to the fence line for a while. This particular pasture has a lovely pole barn for shelter, but is otherwise a wide open space – not ideal for summer pasturing. Anyway, I led the flock down on Monday morning, and they’ve been feasting on fresh grass all day ever since.
Yesterday, after three hours of cleaning out flower beds and preparing them for new Spring bulbs (I’ve bought hundreds, so…), I dragged my weary self down to the pole barn where the flock was gathered in the shade, and just sat with them.
Auggie, Jasper, and Malcom (Cotswold, Wenslydale, and Shetland, respectively), the most affectionate of the flock were the first to demand attention. Bit by bit, the others claimed their time, too. It was a warm, brilliantly sunny day, and a cool breeze drifted up from the valley. To the left I could see the roof tops and church spires of our village, right below lay the Black Creek valley with its cornfields of winter clover and winding stream, hawks swooped and circled above in search of their next meal.
I put away all thoughts of completing the next task on my chores list and stayed still and happy among my beloved sheeple.