Rising from the Ashes

There is much news about the horrible fires causing devastation in Australia. I was there many years ago and a precious memory is learning of the wild flowers that don't regenerate until after the fire has passed over. An inspiring demonstration of nature's brilliance.

A few weeks ago marked four years since the arson fire that destroyed Shepherd's Way Farm near Northfield, MN killing over 500 sheep - 200 of them young lambs.

Owners Steven & Jodi Ohlsen Read, believed they would have completed the farm recovery by now and have this nightmare well behind them. Although they have not been able to rebuild yet, they have survived as a farm, been strengthened as a family and have a global community of friends and supporters. Here is an excerpt from their last email and it illustrates the long-term reality of coping with this fire:

In the midst of the bitter cold that began a few weeks ago, we began lambing at the farm. When we bred our ewes last summer, it was with the belief that the nursery would be finished, the upper half of which still remains on blocks. When the economy faltered and this project was not completed, we could not unbreed our ewes and so in the sub-zero snows, beautiful, fragile lambs were born. Many of you have heard me say that you do not attempt what we are doing if you are not an optimist. But even in my desire to save and protect, I would not have believed in the miraculous efforts of these ewes, their babies, my boys and Jodi.

Checking the pastures day and night, warming lambs with dry towels and love, bottle feeding those too cold to stay with their mothers, it was incredibly stressful, physically and emotionally draining, financially exhausting, and a blessedly rewarding trial. To see life being brought to the farm again, the drama of survival, the sadness of loss and the wonder of being, I am thankful every day for what I am - a shepherd.

I am sharing his words because I admire their humility, courage, and determination to rise above the ashes of such senseless destruction. And I hope you draw inspiration knowing these good people are among us.

And they could use a little attention. They need us to share their story and if we're inspired and it feels right, they need us to share a little of the journey with them. Here are a few ways to choose from.
Buy their cheese.
2. Shop their gift store.
Adopt a Sheep.
4. Participate in their
small loan program.

It’s not Christmas or Valentine’s Day but it is heart warming never-the-less - even if all you do is to have heard their story.

No comments: