Friday, November 25, 2011

On the Lamb
Suzanne Davenport Tietjen is a shepherd who tells a story about one of her pregnant ewes, Lily. It was lambing season and since none of the lambs were showing signs of giving birth, she thought it was safe to go out. She had no idea she’d be coming home to a dire situation.

“Lambing instinct is pretty variable – some new moms act as if they know just what to do, while others fail to recognize any of the feelings of labor. Birth catches them by surprise.”

And that’s what happened to Lily.

The shepherd came home to a frenzied and frenetic Lily, who was running in circles around the barn, looking for something. They recognized the telltale signs that she had just given birth; She was searching helplessly for her baby, who had somehow gotten, well, lost in the confusion.

Her daughter quickly recovered the baby, shivering in the cold.

They presented the baby to Lily, according to Tietjen, but Lily showed no interest. She was much too busy searching for what she had lost.  She seemed to shake her head as if to say, Nope that’s not what I’m looking for, as she continued her manic search.

As I read Tietjen’s story, I saw myself. How often do I act just like Lily, frantically searching for something I know is important, but don’t recognize it when it’s right in front of me?

If I’m too busy recklessly thrashing about, how can I possibly have the clarity of thought to recognize anything when I see it?

When frenzy seems to take over me, I need to breathe through it; Go slower.

Well, after some quick thinking on Tietjen’s part, as only a shepherd can, she got Lily to bond with her baby. They are doing fine.

c. 2011

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