The sheep slowly found their way around me as I walked the long pasture gate open, hooking it with the bungee to the fence to keep it from closing again. Fate hopped eagerly up and down in front of me, ears bouncing straight up then out to the side, eyes wide and intense, ready.
Full from a month of fresh spring grass, the sheep and donkeys were in no hurry. They nibbled at the sweet clover growing close to the ground and casually made their way further out into the pasture.
In her excitement Fate had a hard time getting started. The sheep were too close for her to circle so she ran back and forth looking to me for direction.
Patience I thought.
This morning as Jon and I lay in bed, in no hurry to get up, we talked about how important quiet and rest are to healing. How we’re often so impatient to declare ourselves well and get back to life as we know it. The healers say “be gentle with yourself” after a trying time.
And me, the caretaker, who isn’t sick or in physical pain, has to adjust my life too. During this period of healing, I find myself slowing down even though there’s more for me to do.
Once I accepted that I wasn’t going to get to my studio as usual, that my work may be doing a drawing or taking a picture in the waiting room or writing about how I’m feeling or what I’m experiencing instead of expressing myself through sewing, I found myself being more deliberate.
I won’t be having those long uninterrupted hours of work, so I’ll do work that I can fit in between the things that need to be done. Normal with a twist, is how I described it to one friend.
This doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and annoyed, I do.
When Jon talks to me from the living room when I’m doing the dishes and I can’t hear him my first instinct is to get annoyed and go to where he is to see what he is saying. But I know whatever it is can wait. So instead I finish washing the dishes and then go to him and tell him I can’t hear him when I’m in the kitchen.
“I know,” he says. We both do. I often do the same to him even when one of us isn’t sick.
After breakfast, Jon lays down to rest. “I don’t know why I’m so tired he says.” How easy it is to forget. “You don’t?” I ask with a smile in my question. It’s so obvious to me. Within moments Jon is asleep.
Patience, I thought as I watched the sheep spread out in the pasture, giving Fate the space she needs to make the big outruns she craves. Now when I tell her to get the sheep she runs in wide circles looking at me as she goes by without slowing down.
When the rain comes in a flash, hard and heavy, the sheep and donkeys run for cover under the solar panels. But Fate and I let it wash over us. We let it soak through to touch our skin.
It feels good to do nothing, to feel the rain and let come what will.