No one moved when I sat on the old tire inside the pole barn, the one we prop against the gate to keep it open. The lambs Deb and Pumpkin were just behind me. All the animals were laying down except Lulu and Zelda, ever vigilant. I didn’t want to disturb them, I just wanted to be with them.
It was so still and quiet compared to the excitement and energy of the weekend. Greeting and meeting people, putting names together with faces, Poetry readings and talks, donkey tours and sheep herding, a constant stream of people through the School House Gallery. Jack directing traffic, keeping a few parking spots open close to the house for those who couldn’t walk so far. One of Carol’s drawings the first piece to sell. Kim writing receipts and stuffing art into bags I saved all year, just for this weekend. Silent cameras, posing or not, moving art around to fill in the empty spaces when someone bought a picture off the wall. Debbie opened her portfolio on my stuffed pink chair ( I knew I left it in the studio for a reason) and sold her photographs out of it like a street peddler, in the tradition of George Forss. Slipping away for moments to use the bathroom or get another bottle of water. We collected almost $200 when we raffled off Jon’s photo of the horses on Route 313. Deb said it would send two children through a Hubbard Hall Art program this summer. Fran doctored some of last years mini gardens and sold out her new ones in a day. Jon bought me Donna’s much coveted “Teapot” drawing. Sweet people, sweet weekend, constant motion, so many good words.
And this morning, only the sound of the sheep chewing cud and their breathing in the warm morning sun, the soft bird songs and buzzing of flies, the occasional truck on Route 22. The sun warmed my skin and my eyelids hung heavy. Eventually Fanny got up from where she lay next to Simon and found shade in the pole barn with the rest of us. I listened and watched as she licked the mineral block on the ground next to me. Her tongue swirling around one of the many depressions made by countless licks before hers.
Yesterday the donkeys were inundated with food and love from strangers. Constant attention for hours each day. The sheep were herded so much by the end of the day they refused to move. And this morning, they’re sitting around as if it all never happened. And I sat with them. So still and quiet, filling myself up with each moment. Not forgetting the weekend, but allowing myself to be present as I imagine the sheep and donkeys are present. A quiet mind and soft heart, just sitting.