The attached image may appear to be a cute photo of a lamb snuggled next to her sleeping mother. The reality is – her mother has died, and this was the scene that greeted me, recently. I was aware the ewe had become unwell and had gone to check on her, as the farmer who owned them was currently on holiday. He had separated the two from the main flock, for the ewe to recover.
For three days I walked up the hill to feed the lamb water – thankfully she was old enough to survive without her mother’s milk. Sadly, she never ventured far from her dead mother, even when I opened the gate to encourage her to follow me to my place.
At times the stench of the carcass greeted me before the lamb came running to see me. She would let me touch her, but retained her vigil, waiting for her mother to wake up. On one occasion I observed her nudging the stiff body to rouse itself as she stood, waiting…
Waiting…waiting… I was reminded of the times I have waited for a relationship, a career path, a health issue to be revived and live again.
Like that little lamb I too, at times, have been nudging a dead carcass, because of my own neediness for life to be as it had always been. The freedom of an open gate before me was unfamiliar and scary … but one day I ventured through and discovered a whole new pathway of life to experience.
I was telling a friend how it was becoming grievous for me to witness the lamb optimistically waiting to hear her mother’s reassuring bleat, again. Her response was, ‘It is all the lamb has known.’
Hmm … how often we stay in a situation because it is all we’ve known, even if unhealthy co-dependency in the relationship or situation is restricting our personal growth and freedom.
One morning I was relieved to know the farmer had returned, the deceased sheep had been buried and her lamb had joined the main flock, again. It was the natural progression for her to integrate back into a sheep’s life that will become the norm for her … until it changes, again.