Before Jon and I were married, I was feeding the animals on Bedlam Farm on the weekends as an exchange for getting to work out of a barn (which became my Studio Barn) on the farm.
I first few times I fed the animals I cried.
I didn’t know why, but feeding the animals brought up so much emotion in me. It was as if I was finally doing what I was meant to do. Jon always claimed that it was my nurturing instinct and I imagine he’s right, although I still don’t really understand it all.
I don’t cry when I feed the animals anymore, but it is an important part of my day.
I love everything about it, the way the animals come to the gate when I come out of the house, the gentle way they follow me to the feeders and allow me to be so close to them when they’re eating, never showing any aggression.
On the other side of it, I love to clean up their manure. Raking it into a small mound, and scooping it up in the big shovel then dropping in on the pile which will eventually feed many gardens.
And sometimes, like yesterday, I like to just sit and watch the animals eat. There’s something really satisfying in about the sound of them crunching hay and the calm and contentment that the donkeys and sheep exude when they eat.