On The Second Day Of Fall I Went Looking For A Sheep

Today as I pleasantly ate my midday yogurt, my host mother remarked that, oh, by the way, she had heard the sheep.
Now, my neighborhood is not what you would call rustic, and certainly not a haven for farm animals. However, I was intrigued by this statement, and learned upon further questioning that in the Schwäbische Alps, herds of sheep frequently come to the local meadow for a few days, crop the grass nicely, and then move on to another valley. The idea of having a local sheep herd appealed to me, as you might have guessed, and after munching a small piece of cake I set off, camera in hand, to find the sheep.
First I found a cat.
But then, after following some telltale droppings, smells and sheepish sounds...
...I found the sheep, complete with shepherd, complete with crook. (Shepherding is a profession in Germany.)
Seeing these sheep, for me, was a really remarkable experience. There was something so utterly German, so timeless about it. Somehow, it was quintessential to see these sheep, walk down the crunchy gravel path, and greet the others out enjoying the afternoon.
After a few more photos, I continued on my walk. The air had a single crisp edge that brushed against the sunshine as the green and yellow landscape shone vibrant alongside the rust-red roofs. 
After a while I made my way back, along the path...
...under the overhanging crabapples...
...past the sheep...
...and all the way back home. 

1 comment:

  1. So good to see you taking photos again!! You were always so good at it, even when you were 6!! And for you to put it together with your prose is lovely beyond compare. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I am missing you!
    So, we just returned from B.C. where we "sailed" on Roger's new boat (www.lnvt.org/hull-71) into some spectacular Fjords (Jervis Inlet and Princess Louisa INlet). Here is a poem written by Roger's son George. I asked him to attempt to write about an experience of viewing stars reflected in the water with phosphorescence beneath that we had together. It was so breathtaking I could not imagine trying to capture it with words. George did!

    wrote it while we were on our way out of Jervis Inlet:

    Pushing Out Moonlight Bits
    By George Lee

    These words,
    Written by the light of the sun,
    Are a world away,
    their hands reaching
    to grab last night's memory
    now burning away like fog.

    High in the north,
    Under miles of invisible glaciers,
    elapsed time,
    and the starry dragon,
    and bull,
    I stood.
    Between the watery depths,
    and the starry heavens,
    in our earthly purgatory,
    staring at both my companions,
    present on the surface of the sea.
    Then, I was not alone.
    a school of fish,
    like shooting stars the size of the moon,
    pushed a billion bits of moonlight,
    out of a floating city of plankton.
    Mixing reflected stars,
    streaks of bio-luminescent green,
    darting everywhere so deep,
    it pulled me down,
    into Neptune,
    and dreams,
    and the starry dragon above
    they all
    amidst moonlight bits and tribes of fish.
    And then,
    my earthly purgatory,
    was exposed as deception.
    I felt stars,
    moonlight plankton cities,
    and heaven, earth, the deep,
    and me.
    And a scream,
    a jolt,
    a current,
    of truth pulsed through me.

    Now, as this ink dries in the morning sun,
    clarity burns off to dream,
    but hides in the safety of my eel grass letters.
    Forever safe,
    floating in between the blades of words,
    on this grassy patch of paper.

    Sending love and hugs!