Lambing is a season for us here. The mornings start well before the sunrise and our bed time hour is interrupted consistently with lamb checks. We have chosen to do things differently than most dairies. Our lambs are kept on their mothers to be nurtured and fed until they're mature enough to be weaned. When the weaning is taking place is when we began to gather the milk from the mothers - receiving only what milk the lambs no longer need.
Since the milk is what sustains the farm we are anxious to receive it..but for now we must wait. It is not about milk production or quantity. Or the ease of not raising bottle babies, which fate still requires us to do at times. But about balance, virtue, respect..and the lambs. In a fast paced society where we tend to take what we want, it is about slowing down and waiting.
Without this short wait, much would be missed. The simple pleasures of watching mothers tend to their young. As she nuzzles them at first sight, taking great care in cleaning them while lovingly speaking sounds of comfort and calling each of them by name. The nurturing that then gives these young ewes the skills they need to be the next generations of mothers and flock leaders. Witnessing this bond completes a vital circle for me. One that speaks loudly to my heart as a caretaker and mother...and so I wait.
mother and newborn lamb
sunbathing with friends
Being a shepherdess has been a calling that requires much of me but none that reveals more than to sit amongst these girls and their simple sincerity as they raise their young. Where there is no track of time, money or convenience..it's deeper and richer. I gather and learn from these gracious and humble spirits...and I wait.