Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sheep Dreams

Friday night, the moon was a thin sliver low in the western sky and Venus rode one of the points of that crescent. I walked to the barn with a light heart. We had three healthy babies in the barn and as far as we knew, no sheep was actively dieing. Several of the ewes looked uber-pregnant, but that’s normal when you’re carrying three babies.

I am amazed at the difference that 24 hours can make in my mind set. For the last week, every trip to the barn was full of dread. I could not imagine any good endings. Even in my sleep my mind cycled between dead moms and dead babies.

Three healthy babies was beyond my imagining.

Three healthy babies is the reason that we continue to breed our sheep every fall. We know the risks. We remember the deaths from year to year. It isn’t that we don’t feel sorrow over the deaths or that we forget the hard work.

The joy of delivering healthy lambs a powerful emotion. Even in a normal, “successful” delivery, each lamb is a gift. But when the options are as poor as they were yesterday, the gift of three healthy lambs is a real miracle.

How can you walk away from a job that brings you miracles on a daily basis?

The Saturday night sky was a deep velvet black. Venus had set, leaving the moon hanging in the blackness alone with only the brilliant stars for company. Lights in the distance silhouetted our trees. The lambs were sleeping. The ewes were sleeping. I joined Dave in bed and we slept too, dreaming of sheep.

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