When I go out with the sheep and Beau, I am reminded of the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Santiago was a real shepherd, not a one hour or two a day shepherd, yet I still identify with him.
When I read with the sheep, I think of Santiago reading with his sheep. He would travel from village to village and when he would finish one book he would trade it in for another. One of the passages I remember for some reason was about how he would pick thick books to read-- not because he had so much time but because he used his book for a pillow and thicker books were more comfortable.
In the morning when they go out, I take the time to clean the barn, fill the water buckets, pick up around the barnyard and such but in the evenings I take my book to read. The other-side-of the-fencers have decided that they don't need to do that so much anymore and the animals have fallen in to a routine so I don't have to keep a real close eye. Besides Beau is there.
Reading is something I really enjoy but I feel guilty reading when there is so much to do so I usually limit my reading to late at night before going to bed or when I am out with the sheep.
Lately, it has been really warm so it is sometimes after 7 in the evening that we go out. It is such a peaceful time -- one of my favorite times with the sheep.
And then we come back to the barnyard and I get to go back to a comfortable home with a bed and a real pillow. I am not a real shepherd.
confession: These pictures were taken on a morning outing but the routine is the same.