It was brutally cold and then it warmed up significantly. The ewes are moving about, swath grazing in earnest now. The guardian dogs have uncurled from their nests in the hay and are active again. The stock dogs and I have stretched our legs in earnest as well, traveling once again to that far off piece of pasture, and doing training on the sheep.
I have little recollection of how I decided the dogs and I needed to bike and hike out there; previously it always seemed like too much extra effort to go the extra distance. I'll go another day, I kept saying. Now I’m glad we go.
I love this piece of land, the hills are perfect, the bush is just right, it has native prairie and lots of wetlands. Most of all, somehow it feels like it is a back-woods-private-place, and once we have crested the first hill walking in from the roadside, it feels like we are somewhere pristine and on our own. It still feels new and exploratory, and somehow my mind soothes and settles itself out while I walk around there.
It is tough to describe what land really means when you’re in love with it, and you rely on it. We rely on land to deliver food, water, sustenance and shelter to the sheep, and I rely on these prairie spaces for my Self, each and every day too. I rely on it to provide a place where my soul can re-center. Because these prairie spaces do this for me I have deep respect for the land, and thus, it matters how and what we do here. Our agricultural practices matter.
This is not a rainforest, or a coral reef, or a hundred mile long river bed. This is another one of the same things though. It is equal in its prairie way, and it matters that there are places like this remaining in the world.