Since it’s just you and me here, I’ll speak in whispers from my soul and seal this strange pocket of sanctuary with all the peace in my suburban farmgirl heart.
Whenever I pause to reflect on the inner landscape of my soul and act upon the desire to bless this blog with life-giving inspiration, I do wonder if what I have to offer even belongs.
After all, just how are such mystically charged reflections related to the balance of interior design inspiration shared more often?
It’s my hope that all feel welcomed into the fullness of these pauses. I’m not writing for a particular avatar in spite of how often as a business blogger I’m advised to do so.
Like you, I’m just muddling through in wonder.
Hopefully, these personal musings about life behind the blog will resonate in harmony with melodious notes of peaceful beauty, timeless charm, and tranquil atmospheric loveliness found elsewhere.
While I’m piling on the disclaimers, I may as well add another.
Please know, in spite of the whispering, I don’t take myself overly seriously. Laughing is my favorite. That part of my Instagram bio’s description reading ‘peaceful home guru?’ It’s there with a lighthearted smile, not puffed up delusion.
My hope is that a measure of the glowing warmth at the center of my being will penetrate any words patched together here. Will somehow meet those divine embers crackling in you.
A little history about me and goats seems in order (and is proof I have always struggled with my hearing). I maybe thought about goats more than the average Chicago suburban kid in early childhood.
The 1930’s humble home of my early childhood was located smack dab (I mean, maybe 96 inches) next to a tiny Pentecostal church where rousing services took place. My bedroom window lined up with a church window so I could see flashes of movement and hear music and shouting. My parents referred to the congregants there as ‘holy rollers’ which I misheard as ‘goat ropers.’
Yep. Goat ropers.
Can you picture the innocence of my sweet, five-year-young self, peering through her window, desperate to spot a single goat or lasso? I dreamed about those goats and do not recall feeling anxious about the actual leaping ropers in the church.
After we moved away from the goat ropers and closer to downtown Chicago, I hardly thought about goats beyond a couple of petting zoo visits.
Goats returned to my radar in midlife when our eldest son was in high school since his steady girlfriend was a farmgirl. She ‘showed’ goats, a hobby I found exotic and delightful. Hers is such a loving soul, and the notion of rising early in the morning to tend to them and spend weekends devoted to their care, warmed me to the core.
The other day, I visited Gretta’s Goats, a paradise of a farmstead near my Northern Illinois home and was sort of swept up in the pastoral loveliness and sweetness found there on the prairie.
Indeed, I may have even ‘grown down’ into a small child as I snuggled a baby goat brought to my arms. ‘Grow down’ is an expression our youngest son made up when for a season, he imagined since one could grow UP, the reverse direction was also possible. He would ask, “Someday, mama, when you grow down, can we play Elmo together?”
Oh the wisdom of a child. That his mama might not dry up and wither with time, but shed maturity and dissolve into a child’s fresh form.
All of these years on the planet, so much lovely innocence lost, and yet there can be all of these sweet firsts…like snuggling a baby goat.
The baby let out a little cry and initially wrestled before getting comfy. I’m a bit of a lightweight at the moment, and she was MUCH heavier than she appears here!
After relaxing, this creature became the picture of calm–far more still than any dog or cat I have cradled. Then she fell asleep in my arms.
How does a sweet baby goat fully surrender and become remarkably still in the arms of a stranger? I said those words out loud, and a woman nearby answered.
“All they have known is pure love and kindness so they’ve nothing to fear.”
It turns out the voice belonged to the parent of the handsome goat herder who delivered the peaceful kid to my arms. She wasn’t just speculating; she knew the inside scoop.
Baby goats put people at ease, and the air around me felt charged with an uncommonly heartful optimism I need more of.
I’m still sort of glowing from the richness of the serenity and deep peace swirling about the goats, Great Pyrenees, hens, and hives. If Gretta is reading, I’d like to again bow in gratitude, for welcoming the public to this retreat humming with true earthy goodness.
The goats reminded me.
When creatures and children of Love feel safety, belonging, dignity, and mercy, hidden wholeness springing from a lighter realm is perceivable. The veil gets pulled back a little.
More than answers, there are questions and longings that linger in my chest since I knelt at that little goat altar in the world.
Are there gestures and new ways of being, right where I am, which have the potential to create a safer atmosphere for souls in my path?
Can I live as Mother Earth’s beloved with less fear, as a baby goat in the arms of a strange giant?
How might insignificant, imperfect, earnest blog posts filled with heartspeak provide safety in cyberspace?
Is it possible to evolve and soften as a source of tranquility even when the encounter begins with a bit of weeping and wrestling?
Surely I cannot become an instrument of peace and a messenger of safety without grace. Let me seek such grace daily and receive it gladly.
Belonging is a tender topic for me since a long term struggle with it has colored my days. My personality developed in such a way that historically, I equated my worthiness with rigid individualism. My sense of worth seemed tied to lots of verbs, moral behavior, and my capacity to innovate, produce, and create…with a smile.
But carefully crafting and clinging to identity has never served me that well. Perceiving yourself as an ‘outsider’ may yield a production of powerful art. But it can be hazardous, lonely, and too costly.
The range of colorful relational interactions I observed among the diverse tribe of goats was striking. I witnessed aggressive challenges, PDA, and more playfulness than I can say. I especially loved when a pair would diverge from the herd to sit, kiss, lounge on each other, and drink the wild air.
What rhythms in my life contribute to the separateness I feel and how might they give way to more sacred ones connecting me to nature and community? How might I become community for those seeking belonging?
Are there practical ways to invest more heartfully into relationships, heal destructive interpersonal dynamics, and recover from past wounds?
Surely I cannot become an instrument of peace and a messenger of belonging without grace. Let me seek such grace daily and receive it gladly.
Dignity is such a beautiful gift we can share with each other. Especially at a time in history when social media makes it far too easy to strip others of it and in the process, remain locked out of love’s flow.
Some of the visitors to this goat lovelyland gathered in the center of a field for baby goat yoga. The instructor was gentle and encouraging, and the mood was otherworldly. Humans bowed, and little goats milled about happily and only mildly curious, as if somehow they knew the party was all about them.
How might I nurture a greater sense of dignity for myself and others? There must be a million creative ways to clothe my neighbor in more beauty and honor, to greet discouraged souls with a more encouraging, HELLO, LOVELY .
Surely I cannot become an instrument of peace and a messenger of dignity without grace. Let me seek such grace daily and receive it gladly.
Oh, mercy. Just speaking the word can sometimes shift my countenance. Is it any surprise that in Hebrew, ‘mercy’ and ‘womb’ share the same root?
How might I begin to become a haven of mercy, trusting the trustworthy energy within me to light the way?
Can I humbly step over my small self to transform daily, so that love’s pure light may reveal hidden mercy in every curse? What if I put on a new mind of mercy and decide this heart will do more resting than ranting?
Surely I cannot become an instrument of peace and a messenger of mercy without grace. Let me seek such grace daily and receive it gladly.
I wish you safety, friends. Belonging, dignity, and mercy too…
Video at Gretta’s Goats
The quote below struck a chord and powerfully captured attention when I shared it on FB – do pin its gentle reminder to embrace reality.
Read more soulful reflections HERE.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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