A memory came back to me this week and it wasn't so much what happened as what we felt during the experience that I remembered so sharply.
🐇Many years ago when my children were young, from time to time we would spend an afternoon at a petting farm in the Glen of the Downes about fifteen minutes from our home.
🐥We'd park the car and the only fee was if you wished to purchase some seeds to feed the hens, rabbits, pigs and goats wandering freely in their pens. If memory serves there were some bad-tempered Llamas there too.
A sweet memory of my children's childhood full of delightful moments and photo opportunities - (note to girls: - there's a whole box of them all nicely filed in the attic anytime you want a walk around memory farm). But why now? What was so striking about this memory at this time?
🐐Something strange happened one afternoon as we neared the end of our visit to the farm. We wandered over to a field of goats and held our hand out to a very young goat who, in his curiosity, popped his head between an upper and lower rail and stretched his neck towards us. We admired his sweet face for a little and then just as he was slipping back through the rail, one of his little horns (or buds I believe they're called) caught and was torn from his head.
The poor little goat was terribly shocked and cried out in his pain and distress. We were shocked ourselves and held our breath wondering how we could help. Should we call the farmer?
✨Then the twenty or so goats in the field suddenly stopped all their chewing and bleating. In unison,with what appeared to be a sense of herd 'knowing', they silently formed a wide circle, all facing inwards towards the little goat who instantly stopped crying.
And in complete silence, unmoving, all of the goats simply held their gaze on the youngster. My family and I were captivated. We stood quietly stock still too. For about five minutes, the little goat was held in this protective circle of absolute safety and peace. It felt as though the group were holding a protective, healing space for their injured one and for us it was as though we were witnessing a profound moment of natural wisdom.
Then, again as one, the group returned to munching grass and moving amongst each other. The little goat, seemingly completely recovered, rejoined the herd and continued his grazing contentedly.
This experience kept coming back to my mind this week. For a while, I couldn't understand why it seemed important and then it struck me. The healing of the weakest one occurred when the whole herd stopped what they were doing and focused their energy on him. This feels a little like what we are doing worldwide, in our herd of humanity at the moment. We are all stopping, pausing usual activity, for the good of the sick and the vulnerable and each other, to hold humankind in an energy of healing and safety.
I found comfort in this memory and although this period of the suspension of usual activity feels strange, it's also the exact right thing to do.
This is our healing pause.
It's nature's way.
Photo from Unsplash by Virginia Long - thank you.