Good morning, readers! And a warm welcome to any new readers now following. :-) Last week, I left you with a note nudging you over to MindBodyGreen and a promise to be back soon with updates from the sanctuaries I visited. Here goes!
On Wednesday morning, I had breakfast with Eric’s brother’s family and said goodbye to them. It was a lovely visit with them. One of my favorite parts was that as I was writing my blog posts each morning at their house, their 5 year old daughter, Ayanna, wrapped her little arms around my arm and leaned her head on my shoulder as I typed. The blog writing went about like this:
“Do you want to play in my room with me?”
“Yes, I do. I’m just going to finish this writing and then we can play, ok?”
“Okay.” And then a moment later, “Auntie Katie…”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too, Ayanna.” And it went on like this until I was done with the posts (hence the reason last week’s posts were so short). It was a delightful visit.
Anyway, I headed out to the first sanctuary I was visiting on Wednesday morning and arrived around mid-day. Upon arriving, I dropped my things in the lovely country cabin where I was spending two nights.
I took a tour with one of the animal caretakers there and met the main herd of cattle:
the goats and sheep, the pigs, the chickens, ducks and geese, and the geriatric herd of cattle.
This was my first time spending any real amount of time around cattle and I have to say, I loved it. And it was definitely my first time hanging out with a cow where there wasn’t a fence separating us. I was first struck by just how huge they are when you are standing right next to them and then by how gentle they are. I spent the afternoon listening to their stories and giving them scratches and pats on their forehead and behind their ears.
The landscape around the sanctuary was amazing. Dry grassy rolling hills. This is a close-up of the grasses growing (wild oats, perhaps?):
And the weather was hot and very sunny. It was in the high 90s and I have to say—I don’t do so well in the heat. I found it incredibly difficult to think and be productive, but it was gorgeous there and I felt so lucky to be spending time at this amazing sanctuary with awesome humans and animals.
One of the humans at the sanctuary described it as an intentional community. I loved this. I’ve encountered people who have created intentional communities in urban areas based on shared values/visions (all living in one building or house together), but I had never thought about sanctuaries in these terms before. But of course the sanctuary is an intentional community. Out of respect for the animals, no animal products are allowed to be used there and the humans have chosen to live and work there based on shared values and a unified vision of what kind of world they are trying to make.