Spirit, character and the blessing of unconditional love….

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Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. No? Oh well nevermind then, life carries on regardless.

On Monday I walked down the long and winding driveway between showers to meet my Mum and Dad in the country lane, so I could show them the way to my new little home. It is such a treat for us all to be able to get together and spend time like this. There has been so many years where we have lived thousands of miles apart, reliant in the early days on telex machines with ticker tape to keep in touch, right through to now when mobiles and emails link us.

Lately we have the joy of face to face visits.

They love my new home and we had a special time together. Mum tucked all sorts into my cupboards and a lovingly homemade Shepherd’s Pie was popped into my oven for us all to have lunch.

There have been many times when plans went upside down and they have had to invent new dance steps to unexpected songs being played out in their lives. That spirit and character from each of them has forged a bond that positively hums with energy and has given them the wisdom of ‘knowing’ the unspoken. New dances have been invented with love, grace, dignity and sheer hard work.

‘It’s like a retreat here’ said Dad finally after lunch. ‘Yes, it is’ I replied ‘that is exactly what it is. I can make a new life here Dad.’ We all smiled at each other. Then we headed off to sample the delights of the little medieval town that I am blessed to live near.

Mum and Dad ‘get’ why having the barn so near to my home matters to me.

‘Our’ farmer is a gentle soul and I often watch him leading the cows around here. He silently walks a few paces before them and they all drop into single file and follow him wherever he leads. I like him. As a backdrop to this week there has been much activity in the barn and it culminated with the equipment that was used being transported away today. You could feel the peace re-settle again. There were strangers in the mix during the working days and one is particular could be heard above the other men. There was anger in his voice and I picked it up instantly, as did the herd. I could ‘feel’ and hear him being rough and sharp with the animals in the barn and all week there has been a spiralling circle of distressed noises, smells and fear emanating from the hubbub.

As the sun was setting tonight, I walked out for a breath of fresh air. Down at the far gate I took pictures of the sunset and stood listening, in the cold evening air, to the kestrels on the hillside and the crows calling back from the trees. I heard a hoof on wood and looked up to see the herd going past my ‘usual’ gate and one was waiting there for me. I walked across to stand before a lovely gentle, about two years old, heifer. We stood together under the trees in the evening gloom and nattered for a while. I was asking her what on earth had happened to them all this week and she was snorting her replies. Her companions gathered around her for a little while, adding their comments. As they all started to move away she gave my hand a ‘raspy’ kiss with her tongue and with a dip of her head she headed off. A young steer, just behind her, stepped forward to rest his head on my outstretched hand, then he too walked off with his buddies. They have all stuck together and whatever they faced this week, they have retained their love, grace and dignity.

I love you Mum and Dad. ❤

Magic moments threaded into the flow that we call everyday….

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Laura and I having a loving catch-up in the garden under the morning sunshine. Bird song mingling with our loving laughter and shared confidences.

Opening each package to reveal a set of paintings created by Em. She wanted me to have her love on the walls of my new home, for my fresh start as she calls it. When I opened a set of two with mirrored heart images I dissolved.

Joy as Em and I watched Otis start to put weight onto his poorly leg, as the last rays of sun left the sky and Em stroked him. The look on her face is branded on my heart.

Each idea and job application hitting a blank wall so far and being seen as guidance by me, rather than rejection. Gratitude as these tweaks created space for me to have an idea in the peace of the early morning hours today. Life was breathed into that idea with a phone call first thing and I have let it go to see if it has wings.

Pepper waiting at the gate for me, (no.5 in the herd), so I could stroke her and chat as she walked with me while I did my morning head count. All present and correct. Unlike Sunday morning when they had gone walkabout because some unthinking soul had left a gate open! I eventually found them, but not before I had walked across numerous fields and telephoned a neighbouring farmer and his wife alerting them to the herd’s plight with these lines….

Me:’Good morning, I am so sorry to call you this early, but I have a slight hiccup here as the river gate was left open and the cows are missing’.

Farmer’s wife: ‘How many Jane?’

Me: ‘The whole herd.’

Farmer’s wife: ‘The WHOLE herd??’

Me: ‘Yes!’…..

Bless them for being so kind on the phone. We all laughed with relief as I carried on talking to them as I searched and spotted the herd calmly tucking into the delights of a new corner in a hitherto unreachable distant field! As I approached talking to my charges, they looked up as if to say ‘Gotcha!’ The farmer thanked me for getting him dressed, albeit in haste, and they made absolutely sure that I knew I could call them at any time, for whatever reason. Loving kindness from strangers and a growing desire in me for a quad bike.

Laughter and clucking as I shared my morning museli with happy hens.

Peace to sit and write to you all.

I dwell in gratitude knowing that everything is exactly as it is meant to be. Dreaming with hope, and without expectation, I am free to flow with the magic of life and love.

I have only gone and fallen in love….

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Meet my new love Otis, a very handsome and poorly boy.

I have come to a friend’s farm to care for her organic beef herd and her happy hens. Ages ago I promised her that I would come and flow care on her farm if she managed to organise a holiday for her family and her Mum. Success, as she organised it all and I headed away from my new home feeling rather fragile.

I have learned not to question life’s flow and I know there are many positives to come from the next week, but today there is something special to share.

We had a few hours together before they all headed off (which ‘us girls’ relished) and as we walked around and I absorbed it all, the conversation went something like this…..

Lovely friend: ‘Jane, I am really sorry to do this to you, but our bull Otis went lame yesterday. The vet’s been and his hoof is not infected, but he needs peace and a safe place to heal. So we have put him in the barn with a steer for company’.

Me: ‘Ohh, poor Otis…well, this is a first on the care front. I am guessing that we are talking hands-on care here?’

I was pale underneath my tanned face…..

Lovely friend: ‘Whatever you feel comfortable with, but he is feeling very sorry for himself.’

Me: ‘Poor boy, let’s go and see him.’

Otis and Zaphod, short for Zaphod Beeblebrox. When the herd reached number 42 a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy theme developed and yes, there is an Arthur Dent. Anyway I digress, ‘the boys’, are happy in their barn together and as we walked up they watched us. Otis stood stock still as we went into the barn. My lovely friend explained that the water butt was ‘auto-filling’ from the mains and the manger was accessible from the outside, so I did not have to go in. I chose to go in though, as this magnificent boy is in pain. We moved calmly and my lovely friend went up to him, as I stood back, and stroked his head and talked to him. As she stepped back I took my time and went up to say ‘Hello’. I stroked his head and flank and talked to him. We topped up his hay and watched him walk. He is really limping and the pain is evident in his eyes. Poor boy. Zaphod is never far from his side.

We left ‘the boys’ and went to see how the main herd were doing in another field. They have all been moved to ensure Otis has peace and Zaphod does not pine too much. Then we came back so I could be introduced to all the quirks of the farmhouse and be greeted by the friendliest hens I have ever met. I am going to love tending to them and staying in this loving home. My lovely friend’s family are so at ease with each other and their love has soaked into the walls of their home, so it radiates back and you feel like you are ‘home’.

This evening I walked across to see how ‘the boys’ are doing. I talked to them and stocked up their manger with fresh hay to take them through the night. A little treat was called for and I put a scoop of nuts in the manger trough. Otis came right up and as he ate I stroked his head and talked to him. I was flowing healing into this beautiful boy as we stood there and each time he raised his head, I moved my hand to where a few nuts had got lost amoung the hay. He knew and dropped his head to eat them. Zaphod watched this bonding and very sensibly went to the other side of the manger to get his fair share.

I stroked, talked, healed and fell in love.

Standing there I knew, without a shadow of doubt, that I need to find farm work where I can care for animals every day.

I have found my true love.

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