Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daily Farm Photo 10/18/06: My Little Girl Is Growing Up


Cary gazing across the field at her flock

Don't know who Cary is? Meet her in A Tiny Tail for Mother's Day.

Most mornings Cary is calling out to me long before I reach the barn. I still greet her with a bottle of milk, and once she has sucked it down, and the rest of sheep have been counted and are headed down the gravel drive in search of breakfast, we give Donkey Doodle Dandy his morning treat and tend to any barn chores.

Then we meander out to the front field together to find the sheep. We stand among them while I breathe in the beautiful scenery and slowly look everyone over and Cary nibbles on grass. The sheep are always busily eating in a way that manages to be at once frantic and serene.

This morning, after assuring myself that everything was right, I continued to walk past the flock toward the next field, checking behind me to make sure Cary was following along. She wasn't. She was several yards back, standing among a group of sheep, happily grazing.

I called her name, and she looked up and gave me a small "Maaaa!" bleat in return. Then she went back to eating, her actions clearly saying, "I know you're leaving, but I'm supposed to stay here."

And that is as it should be.



As I continued to walk along without her, I thought about how much less affectionate she has become, how for the most part she has turned away from me and toward her flock. And just as the words and that is as it should be played through my head once again, I looked down and saw a beautiful heart rock unlike any other in my collection. I picked it up and slipped it into my pocket, rubbing my fingers along its smooth surface, grasping its weight in my hand, feeling its physical presence.

Cary isn't rejecting me; she's simply growing up, as all little lambs must do. I had no idea I would be so affected by this. But I do know that I will always be in her heart, and she will of course always have mine.

And that is as it should be.

Want to get to know Cary better? You'll find lots more photos of her here.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around—Always

© FarmgirlFare.com

42 comments:

  1. That fuzzy woolly head is just asking for a kiss - mmwwah!

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  2. In some ways I am sorry Cary has grown up so fast. I have enjoyed her stories as she has grown from limping baby to full grown ewe.
    Finding your heart rock may be a "sign" of change being as they should be? I do hope so. It is a beautiful heart -- but then you have a beautiful farm and heart of your own.

    Many blessings!

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  3. Awe! I feel that way about my 13 yo dd.

    That rock is awesome!

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  4. Damn! You're entry today put tears in my eyes. Maybe I'm relating to the fact that my kids are now all on the other side of their teenage years and I sort of miss them like that...dunno. But it had me all misty for a while.

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  5. A heartwarming story Farmgirl...

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  6. So sweet! Now I'm brushing away tears, too.

    You are a successful mom, FarmGirl. You raised your baby sheep so she'd be a well-adjusted member of the flock...you did a great job. The heart rock is indeed a sign.

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  7. Definitely warms my heart on this rainy and blustery morning. Great story to wake up to!!

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  8. Sniff, sigh -- what a wonderful picture and story.

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  9. Oh Susan, you've made me tear up! (In a sentimental way, and not the first time)It's so sad that Cary is growing up...but at the same time it's a success story. You've been a wonderful "maaaah".
    My tears come from remembering my bucket calf, "Baby Moo" (I never could come up with a fitting enough proper name)...I went through the same thing with her. She turned into a bottle-sucking healthy mama cow (one of our top 5!), but of course became distant as time went on. I had to leave her behind in my divorce, and that just broke my heart. Should've gone for visitation rights. (haha!)
    Thanks again for sharing your stories with the world!

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  10. ...damn they grow up fast!

    Beautiful moment and retelling...you have a knack with the heartstrings...!

    Best to you and Cary in her first winter...

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  11. Awwww, what a sweet story.

    Love the rock. I recently found a rock similar and gave it to my dd10 to carry on test days at school. She's a worry wart, so she can rub it and know Mom is thinking of her.

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  12. I have really enjoyed the Cary stories; the picture with this post so perfectly captured the feeling!

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  13. How bitter-sweet! You definitely did the right thing, raising her well, but of course it's hard to have lost your little shadow. All the best!

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  14. Awwww.... Wonderful the way the world provides those heart-shaped rocks (or other signs) just when they are needed, eh?

    Stay strong!

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  15. Beverley, UK10/18/2006 1:40 PM

    Oh Susan, I hate you sometimes. I'm now sat here with tears on my chin.

    I have a heart shaped rock here on my desk, picked up from our beach on the morning we heard of that terrible shooting at an Amish schoolhouse. Ironically it has a hole straight through the middle and I thought of the many hearts broken that day.

    Glad to see Cary is more well adjusted than me! She may yet be back at that screen door when the weather turns! XX

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  16. Beverley, UK10/18/2006 1:40 PM

    Oh Susan, I hate you sometimes. I'm now sat here with tears on my chin.

    I have a heart shaped rock here on my desk, picked up from our beach on the morning we heard of that terrible shooting at an Amish schoolhouse. Ironically it has a hole straight through the middle and I thought of the many hearts broken that day.

    Glad to see Cary is more well adjusted than me! She may yet be back at that screen door when the weather turns! XX

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  17. What a great story. I also grew up on a farm. We had sheep cats, dogs peacock and chickens galore. You tug at the heartstrings alright. Keep up the great stories..by the way I added your blog to my list. So I can enjoy more of these wonderful stories.

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  18. Once a Lamb Daughter, always a Lamb Daughter ...

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  19. Yup, you made me cry. I'm a sucker for animal stories. It's sad to see Cary growing up but also amazing and wonderful. I don't have children but I imagine it's how every parent feels--sadness and happiness all in one. I love Cary and I only get to read about him.
    Jane

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  20. Tears all around.

    Susan, You did a wonderful thing when you decided to become a mom to a lamb. I think you both were very lucky. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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  21. Aww. All our kids must grow up eventually. But I am finding out that they all eventually end up coming back home too.

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  22. I have tears in my eyes! It's like how I felt about my sons when they finally grew up and moved away. They weren't rejecting me, but making a new life for themselves. Every mother goes through this. It doesn't matter if your baby is a lambie or not.

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  23. dittos, dittos, dittos, dittos.
    Anne

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  24. Proving once again that Nature is wiser than us.

    THANX SB

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  25. What a magical moment. It's so sad that Cary has to grow up, but it's wonderful that she has found her flock, and presumably they have welcomed her with open arms. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Linda Sue in Texas10/18/2006 9:30 PM

    Ah - Bless you both - Cary doing what God designed her to do - be a lamb and you doing what you were designed to do - be a joy to so many readers! Having animals is a cool responsibility - we lost a young doe goat last week to a predator and amazed at how we miss seeing little Glory running across the front pastures with the other young goatkin. Hey Cary - live it up - you've got that human wrapped around your lanolin rich little ears!

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  27. That is so sweet. It gave me goose bumps.

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  28. Sometimes it soothes the soul to find that one special sign that tells us things are as they should be and all is right in our own little corner of the world.
    P.S. Have you ever read the children's book OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS AT MAPLE HILL FARM?

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  29. That is so beautiful, I feel a tear coming to my eye.

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  30. You have such a kind heart! I feel your sadness but at the same time it's so good to know Cary is becoming part of the herd. It's all so amazing, I think.

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  31. Awww, sweet Cary!

    I want my own heart-shaped rock too!

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  32. I love Cary stories. I knew this day would come (and in fact I've been waiting for it). Still makes me sad. You are so very pragmatic about it though.

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  33. amWell now you've gone and done it again....made me tear up! Isn't it sad that the only thing we can count on is change....I know people say "that's as it should be" but that doesn't make it any less heartbreaking.

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  34. Aww, little Cary is growing up! Jeez, that makes me sad. I know it's a good thing, but it hurts nonetheless. Just remember, you'll have a bond with her forever. :)

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  35. Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

    Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

    And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

    And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.


    from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

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  36. btw, if you need something tosnuggle, i've got this kitten... grin

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  37. That brought tears to my eyes...I have been there done that and boy time sure does fly...we must remember to be in our moments when they happen because yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come...now is all we have (and our memories)

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  38. Oh, that choked me up! Beautifully written.

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  39. That's so wistful. But it really is wonderful that the flock is accepting her, so you've done everything right. I'm sure there's that dull ache in your heart right....HERE.

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  40. "But what I can promise you is that I will always love you with all of my heart." Keep rubbing that stone.

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  41. One of the visitors to by blog, Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods, sent me over here to look at one of your heart images, after reading my "heartprints"-post:
    http://brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com/brittarnhilds_house_in_th/2006/11/heartprints.html
    I love your blog.

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