One afternoon, I looked out the window and thought about how much Jon must love to herd the sheep. It was 90 degrees and the black flies were relentless, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the middle of a field training a border collie puppy to run around sheep.
But no matter what the weather, rain, heat, beautiful breezes, Jon is out there at least twice a day yelling “Come By” and “Away” as Fate circles the sheep, mostly lies down when told, then chases Red in his grand out runs.
I think of sheep herding as being similar to weaving. It’s something humans have been doing for thousands of years. There’s no longer a need for either one in our society, but we’re still drawn to doing them. They fulfill us in a way that feeds our soul. It’s believed that weaving was once a religious practice which invited Spirit and taught of life, death and afterlife. When I first started weaving I remember that it made me feel like I was connected to something bigger than myself.
So as much as I don’t want to do it, I understand Jon’s love of sheep herding. And it seems to me, twice a day, there’s an ancient ritual going on in our pasture. One where a man is in his natural environment, communicating, once again, with his fellow animals and mother earth.