The past three days has been cold, windy and cloudy. I do not like stepping outside on cold days, like below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I have never cared for the wind, and a cold north wind is miserable for me. I love to look at individual clouds and cloud formations, but the past three days have been a blanket of grey. The weather depresses me and I have to find “sunshine”.
I am a sheep farmer. Regardless of the weather, I have to go outside to feed and care for the sheep. On cold, windy, cloudy days, the sheep are my sunshine. They great me with hungry baas, even if I fed them an hour before. They walk up to the gate to give me a look and smell.
This afternoon it did warm a bit, the wind calmed down and the sun peaked out. My husband and I was doing the evening feeding. I was looking over the sheep. In one pen of expectant first time mother ewes, I was bent over so we could look each other eye to eye, and smell noses. My husband asked “What are you doing?” Still looking eye to eye and smelling noses, I replied “talking to my sheep”. I was asking them how they felt. By looking in their eyes, with experience, a person can tell if the sheep is feeling good or a little bad or just miserable. Smelling noses is how sheep and animals recognize each other and me.
I was also looking these young expectant mothers over, to see if they were getting ready to have their lambs in two weeks on their earliest due date, or if they were going to be a little later.
I get excited when lambing is getting close. I finally get to see if my calculations on a good genetic cross was good, fair or bad. Raising sheep is a challenge for me as I have an ideal sheep in my mind that I am trying to produce through my sheep breeding program.
I realized today, I challenge my knowledge of sheep, breeding and care. I also challenge myself with cooking, sewing and garden. I am not satisfied with staying the way I am, not that I am bad. I am always wanting to improve and expand what I know and do. In doing so, I find my sunshine.
I get excited trying new recipe or changing an old recipe when cooking, this is a ray of sunshine. I love to watch the seedlings sprout through the ground and begin to grow. When the first fruit from my vegetable plants appears, I act like a child on Christmas morning seeing abundant presents under the tree, this is sunshine.
Where do you find sunshine? What observations bring a smile, and warms the heart?
Do you really enjoy your accomplishments? or reaching the goals you have set? Often, we acknowledge them for a moment then forget, as we are on our way to the next goal, the next accomplishment. Not really savoring the moment to create the sunshine we need to go forward.
The past five years I have been working at putting together a really nice flock of ewes. I have culled and then raised my own ewes. Last year I had twelve ewes. Today, I have thirty-two ewes, most I have raised. One of my goals five years ago was to have all registered sheep. I have almost reached that goal.
Today, looking the sheep in the eye and smelling noses, I was savoring my accomplishment. I was enjoying having reached a marker in my long-term goals. I wanted to remember the joy, satisfaction and retain the excitement of this accomplishment.
Take time to see, smell and savor your accomplishments, and to share them with the ones you love.