Post Shearing Day Thoughts

Moving the ewes home the evening prior to shearing
Yesterday was shearing day. There is a tonne of prep work ahead of time and then a long and busy, busy day and yet it flies by. Early this morning I sat at my desk as usual but instead of doing artwork I sat there soaking quietly in a heap of deep thankfulness for the thirty odd friends and strangers who showed up to lend a hand yesterday. People just kept showing up. 

It snowed all day long but stayed just warm enough so that it became soupy, soupy, muddy outside. While that presented challenges and a whole lot of mess, inside the shearing shed was a beehive of activity and chatter. Each year shearing day shifts something around for me; this year in particular with so many people. And that’s what I was thinking of this morning - trying to put my finger on what it is. 

Then today I received an email that put it into perspective. With Maureen’s permission I share that email here because it answered some of my curiosity and it moves me deeply to read her words. Everyone who hosts work type days at their farm needs to read this because it’s good to know there is still magic in such things. 

"...  I could not resist the opportunity of spending a working day with animals and a community of physically hard-working people. I appreciate the good food and hospitality. And am touched by your “soul work”. You provide me with a reminder of the deep spaces hiding within all of us.

The day brings back so many warm memories of my grandmother. I can see her in my mind’s eye cleaning wool, carding, spinning, and knitting. And of course the steady supply of brightly coloured handiwork, especially the mittens. I am not sure that I will ever get to the point of working with the fibre like she or so many people I have met at the shearing days do. But I have finally taken the steps to get the spinning wheel and carders back into use. I have a long way to go to produce any decent product, but am basking in good memories along the way.

Then there are your animals. Being able to watch the dogs work the sheep elicits fond memories of working dogs in general. And, someone I was talking with yesterday mentioned how calm your sheep are. For me, it speaks to the attitude of their keepers.

Thanks for the opportunity of this grounding experience."

Thank you Maureen, and every single one of the people who joined us this year.  Thank you on so many levels.


  1. At my farm, my friends come and help me put up my second-cutting hay each year. I make sure I provide lots of snacks (milkshakes in chilled glasses!) between wagon loads, and then I provide a huge dinner when we are done. Although exhausted, my friends assure me that they always have lots of fun, and I know I couldn't get all that work done without them.

  2. Thanks for sharing these words that put our day of working and sharing in perspecting. Friends, animals physical work, laughter and learning. Thank you for allowing me to participate. Peggy

    1. You are so welcome. I do really appreciate catching up with you, even if the visits are brief during the busy day.

  3. There's something about sharing a big day of honest labour among people of goodwill that can recharge all that has been drained by living in a society often more concerned with consuming and acquiring than giving and sharing. You end the day tired but buoyed, exhausted but strangely elated. And you sleep the sleep of the righteous. Offering days like that are a blessing to the people that help you as much as the help is a blessing to you.

    1. Very beautifully written Elnini. You have captured it. Thank you.


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