This last year I've been in the company of sheep, goats, and cows and in that time I've thought a lot about the idea of being a shepherd.
While I am not, nor have I been "officially" designated as such - and truthfully, most would say I'm more of an annoyance - I still sort of think of my self that way as I watch the herds live their lives each day.
At one point I looked shepherd up as a job and there is such a thing, but it only pays about $700 month and they drop you for months off in the middle of no where and seem to only employ men from other countries.
But it is work that would be good for so many in our world right now. There is a kind of magic that happens when you spend time every day with a herd of animals. You learn their habits, their personalities, their rhythms, and also when one isn't feeling well or something is off.
Because of this drought many herds are spread out over 100's of miles making checking on them long, hard, and impossible for a single rancher.
But having me here, on this property with "my" 20 cows it is easy to see if there is water, if one is missing - though you would be surprised how hard it is to actually get an accurate count on 20 cows!!! - and if the owner needs to come out.
Peace of mind I think counts for a lot when you are caring for live beings who are also your livelihood.
But there is also something spiritual that happens. The animals respond to your energy - I first learned about this with horses and therapy. But it is true for all animals. There are definitely some that are braver then others, some more curious, and some who really could care less about you... One of the most interesting things has been watching the cows with the cat and the dog.
I just love how brave my little cat is! I didn't have the camera out when there was an entire line of cows she was standing in front of, but you get the gist of it here.
Sadly, not everyone takes their responsibilities to heart. There is such need for good shepherds.
The longer I live this way the more opportunity I see for so many. For veterans who need to be alone and on the land to heal who would benefit from being a shepherd for a herd of sheep or cows. For families with small children who would benefit from learning about life and nature and themselves. The list goes on and on.
I feel very blessed to have these experiences and extremely grateful to those who have allowed me to have them. I don't know how much longer I'll be here in this spot, but I do know I love living close to the land and the animals and will take mice and snakes over crowded cities any day of the week!
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!