Friday, October 14, 2011

sheep and chutes

Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth 
plants something in his soul.  

                                                                          -Thomas Merton

Moving and sorting. 

There are many ways to move sheep.  Loudly.  Quickly.  With dogs.  I have seen it done forcefully and with great gusto - whistles, yells, and man-arms wrestling wool.  I have also seen it done in whispers.  Quietly the sheep responding to a good shepherd and moving slowly where they need to be.  

This was a sheep moving day and we had some of everything.  

Once the sheep are marked with chalk (ewe lambs & wethers counted), the sheep are ready to be pushed through the chutes.  They go one at a time down the long narrow chute.  Many gates are ready for opening and closing depending on the sheep's branding and marking.  Strong arms keep the sheep moving, strong hands pull and close gates, dogs sit in shadow waiting for sheep to emerge, and the sweet sheep run as fast as they possibly can.  

It is quite lively.   

 I am proud to be a part of such movers this day ~ the ewes, the lambs, the men, the boys, the loud, the soft, and all the dogs, dusty and dry mouthed and tired.  It takes a large sheep loving family (lots of families today) to make this work, everyone needs to do their part. 

We are standing in the entrance of autumn -- the season of harvest and the season of letting go. The sheep are my friends and my teachers and I am joy-filled that they are safely home. We will do this beautiful season of change together. 

They know I need as much tending as they do~

Thank you to these Ranching families for letting me use them in my blog today~ it is a gift to have met each one of you.  

In His grace & peace,
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