A Shepherd’s Reflection.

Farming is an occupation, or dare I say a life’s work, that is very influenced by the seasons. And some touch me more than others. At this moment, this edge of Spring into Summer is one of my favorites. You see there is a pause. We have completed lambing, prepared and attended a fiber festival, finished shearing, hoof trimming, vaccines and tagging. We are getting geared up for summer chores, such as fencing, getting our garden going, planning our trip to the mill to prepare fleeces for another festival. So I can breath a bit. The grasses have fully recovered from last year’s drought. In fact, bush hogging is on the list for the to do’ s. So I don’t have to feed hay, one less chore and expense.

I take a bit of time for myself and enjoy the bounty of the farm. The weather is warmer, but the evenings are still cooler and the humidity is low. The honeysuckle is perfuming the air with sweet notes. The barn swallows are darting around gathering nest building materials. The chickens are busy scratching in my yet to be planted gardens, taking care of some tilling, clucking in conversation. My rooster has thoroughly cleaned out the debris from my flower pots. Lilies and irises are blooming attracting butterflies.

So I decide to take some time to myself now that the sun is staying up longer. After the rabbits are fed and I close up the dye studio, I pull out my swim suit, a boogie board, beach chair and kindle and head down to the fishing pier. The Rocket Man tags along to serve as lifeguard. I walk down through the sheep pasture, with the tall grass tickling my thighs. The pond greets me as I kick off my flip flops. I love the texture of the worn wooden boards of the fishing pier. I open my chair and settle the kindle and my towel into it. The Rocket Man settles into his watchful position.

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The Rocket Man is my pond side lifeguard

Frogs add to the bird’s chorus. I attach the strap of the boogie board to my wrist and I ease down the dock ladder into the cool water.

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My new dock ladder.

At this moment I am thanking God I was blessed this spring fed pond. I use the blog is board to float past a few lilipads and once in clear water, I abandon the board and begin a slow steady breast stroke out to the middle, board following behind via the strap. After about a hundred and thirty yards, I turn back, and use the board when I run out of breath . I do about five or six laps of this, allowing my mind to think of nothing but the birds that collect bugs on the water’s surface ahead of me, or the smell of the honeysuckle, or the sunlight flickering on the tiny wake left by my very slow swimming strokes. This is my mini-vacation from, well, everything. From the chores, the bills, the orders that never seem to get done fast enough. But we all have that stuff don’t we? I love that I can get away in my back yard.

So as I climb out of my pond, I look forward to drying off in the sun, in my beach chair, reading my latest book on my kindle.

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View from my beach chair.

Rocket also takes a sun bath. Soon, I take a deep breath and promise myself to add wine to the experience next time, and I head up the hill through the tall grass. The sheep are playing their version of Marco Polo as mama ewes try to locate their lambs.

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The walk up to my house after my swimming vacation.

I am loving country life at this moment as I enter the real world again, wondering what I have to cook for dinner.

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Sheep are following me wondering if I have dinner for them too.

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About woolfarmgal

In middle age, had the courage to follow my heart-raise sheep, goats and rabbits and build a business around fiber. In the process, discovered an outlet for creativity. I not only knit, I spin, dye yarn, roving and felt, I also now knitting Shetland Wool socks on my antique sock machine called 1910 Socks. I also design patterns for knitting. You can find my products on my Etsy shop, Sweet Tree Hill Farm. And I teach many of these skills. My bliss is working where I live, having sheep as co-workers and sharing all of this with other fiber enthusiasts.

Posted on June 1, 2013, in Farming philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Kathy, I so enjoy reading about your life on the farm. So glad you found a beautiful property for your family to experience and enjoy. Am familiar with some of the area,my neighbors Mother lived in Cumberland and was kind enough to have me spend the nights with her when I took John to Longwood or just went down for a visit..At that time I couldn’t imagine living in the country being the city girl I was.. Well now living in Rural Eastern NC as it is reffered to I see the joy of it..Love going past a pasture and seeing the little cows,goats or horses out feeding and romping.The locals think I’m a bit titched when I asked if they saw the new whatever at the farm up the road..Also watcing the crops grow is facinating to me..can’t believe the corn grows so fast, tabacco is right behind it and the cotton is a beauriful sight when it blooms and then again when the bols open. The fields look as if they are covered with snow..Yes, I am removed from
    things I have been used to but living in another culture has been and interesting, enjoyable and eye opening experience. Son John once told me after he graduated from college and was on his own ,that we the family did not grow up or live in the reall world…I thought he had lost his mind not ever having lived anyplace but DC and N VA. thinking if we were not in the real world with the goverment,museums,theaters,universities etc. within a short drive what did you call where we grew up and lived?? Well I found out when I relocated here priviledged,spoiled and several other words came to mind. However,I’m sure glad I grew up with all the perks of the “not real world” and can truly enjoy the reall world when I have the sense and time to do so..Yes, I miss all the travel I did for ten or so years and have those wonderful memories and pictures to
    enjoy the second time around as I watch the sunsets through the pines,listen to the frogs let me know they are visiting my porch and pooping on it and watch the dragon flys go by..Didn’t mean to go on and on…..Keep enjoying and take care. Love Aunt Pat

    • Hi Aunt Pat,
      So very nice hearing from you. My experience having lived in suburbs, city and now country, in there are many views of one real world. Our environment helps to form the people we are. But I am partial to the country in that I am closer to the physical world and nature has a bigger influence on me than worldly human fads and fashions. Just feels better. And you are welcome to visit anytime. Promise good fishing.
      Love Kathy
      PS ..didn’t know John went to Longwood.

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