EVEN HAPPY LONERS have sad thoughts sometimes. During those spells of sadness you have to persevere on your journey to happiness, in search of the meaning of life. Such is the wisdom of those who’ve been on that journey. They know. And I believe them.
Since the end of April I’ve been studying for a diploma in counselling skills. Psychology is an entirely new field to me (not to count the life experience gained during the five decades). But I’m used to wading into new waters every now and then, to studying something completely unknown to me: like parks and gardens at one time, or sheep farming, or photography to mention just a few. While psychology is such an exciting area! True, it does bring up all your issues that you have kept hidden deep in your unconscious. And it does not make it easier now, while I await for the moment when the time comes to realize the decision that I took in April: to leave my little farm, my country and move elsewhere – to a country which is familiar, lovable and likeable, but foreign nevertheless.
In the meantime I try to distance myself from that which has become an inseparable part of my life: the rose garden which I created with such passion and my sheep.
The rose garden of nearly three hundred bushes is still and quiet. The Old Rose bushes have done their flowering in the beginning of summer, only a few will repeat. The English Roses are all set for the second flush of flowers. I don’t visit the garden, despite it being right outside my windows. I’m trying to distance myself from it to make the separation as painless as possible.
My lovely ewes and lambs come back to the shed during the day to hide from the heat, and during the night for safety – this is their safe haven from the wolves of which we sometimes hear. The shed is right across the yard and I hear the bleat while reading or writing essays in the room. The pastures are surrounded with electric fences and all I have to do is to fill the troughs with water. I‘m trying to distance myself from the sheep, too.
A buyer appeared out of the blue a couple of days ago, left me advance money and will be collecting the herd at the end of August. The shed and the fields will remain empty. I‘m glad that this buyer appeared as no one else was interested in my Texel herd. Farm animals have become economically unviable. People sell their cattle, I sell sheep – buyers are not that easy to find.
I try to think only about the bright side of the new life that awaits me: the new opportunities to travel, to study a different culture, to meet people, to make new friends, to work in the field so excitingly new to me.
This is my twelfth year on this little farm, eight of which have been spent in blissful solitude. I learnt so much about myself and the world. Thanks to a near perfect internet connection I had an entire world in front of me on the monitor.
Yes, I learnt a lot. And it‘s time to move on...