A few weeks ago I visited with a lady who rescued a cream-colored dairy goat from a farmer who had bred the goat multiple times. No problem there, but when the goat waddled out of her cozy, straw-filled stall into the main section of the sweet-smelling barn I saw right away why this woman had felt the creature needed to live with her.
The goat had deformed front hooves that caused her to walk on her knees. She also had a huge under-bite which made her look funny. My first thought was that most people would have put this animal down at birth. Instead the farmers bred her multiple times (maybe a financial necessity) before agreeing to give the goat away.
At this point when the lady was telling me the story the goat had come up beside me, giving me soulful look. It leaned in like a Golden Retriever would waiting to be petted. The lady told me that many adults and children have found peace and some healing from emotional wounds just by sitting with this little beam of sunshine. Who is to say that her life doesn’t matter?
For you have formed my inward parts: you have covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
My frame was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes did see my substance, being yet unformed; and in your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Enlarge Within Us a Sense of Fellowship
By St. Basil (300? – 375 A.D.)
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
Oh, God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things; with our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song, has been a groan of travail.
May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves, and for Thee, and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve Thee in their place better than we in others.
How nice it is to mention going sledding and having a husband who drops what he’s doing to sharpen his chainsaw the day before a snowstorm. Down came a few “ironwood” saplings (to be used for winter heating) and up we climbed the next day to have some fun.
You’re never too old to coast down a hill. The goats were not impressed.
WINTER IN STRATHEARN
by John Davidson
The twinkling Earn, like a blade in the snow,
The low hills scalloped against the high,
The high hills leaping upon the low,
And the amber wine in the cup of the sky,
With the white world creaming over the rim,
She watched; and a keen aroma rose,
Embodied, a star above the snows;
For when the west sky-edge grows dim,
When lights are silver and shades are brown,
Behind Torlum the sun goes down;
And from Glenartney, night by night;
The full fair star of evening creeps;
Though spectral branches clasp it tight,
Like magic from their hold it leaps.
And reaches heaven at once. Her sight
Gathers the star, and in her eyes
She meekly wears heaven's fairest prize.
I actually had to stick my hand and arm up to my elbow into a goat to pull out a stuck kid!(You can bet that will make it into one of my books!). After an all-nighter with my extremely patient husband in the cold barn feeling tense and hungry with a goat having a tough delivery I’m taking the day off from blogging–so I leave you with a nice blog of old photos.