Horsey Therapist

Friday, April 07, 2006

Growing, growing

Living with Lucky is a lesson in developmental progress.

If at any point I had compared him to other lambs, judged and condemned his future based on his present, well, I might believe I would be bottle feeding and carrying around this little runt for the rest of his life.

But no.

He is a week old today. And continues to spend the nights inside for my convenience as he is taking a bottle at night. But his days are out in a stall with two ewes and four other lambs. Two lambs are his full brothers and hence, the same age. Two lambs are his half sisters, a day younger.

I will have to get another photo of him. He's growing but compared to his siblings, he's still the runt.

His latest developmental milestones include cantering everywhere, and applying a firm head butt to provoke a flow of milk. He will follow me quickly if I (as the source of milk and indoor companionship) walk away.

So in a week's time, progressing from a limp, listless, breathing body to a lively, active, playful lamb, and becoming involved in the Lamb Zoomies* that entertain me as I stand in the barn quietly watching the sheep activity over the stall wall.

Lucky is for sale. If we had 2% of the current number of animals here, I would definitely consider keeping him as a pet. Aha! I do have some self-restraint -- what a pleasing realization. Too often I feel conflicted between the joys of caring for and being in the presence of the various farm animals and fowl, and the joys and duties related to spending time with my horses in addition to feeding time and shedding blade time. Which has become my primarily upper body workout of late.

The more I focus, the more I flow with the concurrent need to limit other involvements. Saying "no" to an endless stream of impulses. In my ideal world, I would have endless energy to match the endless stream of impulses, no need to sleep or eat, and flexible days that might have the usual 24 hours or extend up to 48 or 112 hours depending on how involved I become in any one or many impulses.

Getting lost in a creative flow requires the facility of timelessness. At times when indeed my life has had to respond to outside influences (appointments, deadlines, etc.), I have found it essential to schedule "unscheduled time" into my week. Otherwise I get seriously cranky!

Is it universal, this need for unscheduled time? Time useful for discovery, for passive awareness, for hearing the suggestions of that delicate inner whisper whose directions are consistently valuable? Time for noticing the forsythia in bloom, for glimpsing the black and red blur of the red-winged blackbird flying past on an early spring afternoon, for hearing the call of the kildeer from the further side of the hay field?

My current purposeful focus is the integration of my horse connection and my clinical social work connection. So far in my endeavors, I've been muddling along with minimal focus as I approached this new level of readiness. This readiness now has a foundation that was not previously adequately solid. A foundation in myself, in my family, in my community. I'm ready now for a more concerted expression. I am ready.

And Lucky is ready to take the next steps in his unique development. He is stronger physically and brighter mentally. He has an active sense of belonging to his mixed-species family group. He is confident that he can affect his environment to get his needs met without great distress. His wellness includes curiosity and excess energy for playfulness. Who knows what is his ultimate capacity as a sheep-being. Who knows what is my ultimate capacity as a human-being.





* Zoomies refers to unabashedly, directionless, joyful expressions of life seen in animals. For example a puppy who runs in circles and recklessly careens around the yard, or a kitten who acts like a balloon that has been released to flit around with unpredictable turns and swerves. (If anyone has examples of adult humans doing zoomies without the aid of drugs or alcohol or hormonal arousal, do please speak up -- zoomies seem to disappear as maturity and self-consicousness and shame and constriction become the SOP.)

1 Comments:

At 08 April, 2006 20:24, Blogger ELL said...

Zoomies: Two pony mares turned out on the summer grass paddock for the first little nubbins of spring green, after 30 or so minutes of nibbling suddenly spook at nothing at all and race like the wind down and back again, kicking their heels at each other, skidding and spinning at their bounderies sending a spray of damp earth and sod clumps over the fence to race back to where they started and stand snorting and blowing, tails flagged, muscles tense. And with a shake of a head dash off again.

 

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