Monday, September 05, 2011

Heaven on Earth

As we speak, Astrid and I are in England with fellow Shutterchancers, celebrating our 4th anniversary of meeting...on Shutterchance, of course. For you in America, happy holiday weekend! More on all of that next week.

In the meantime...a week ago this past Thursday, I walked over to a dijk near one of our shopping malls outside our citadel. I hardly ever walk in that area but Astrid told me "the shepherd" was going to be there with his sheep for at least a week to...guess what..."mow" the grass on both sides of the grassy dijk.

This was the second year he came to do his eco-friendly, green thing. It was such a hit last year because, for one thing, it was quiet. The shops were on one side of the dijk but homes were on the other. And besides, it was quite a spectacle for any and all who wanted to see the farm up close and personal.

Lucky for me, I made it on a sunny day which, unbenownst to me, was his last day for this year. After these images below, that's all she wrote.

Coming from home, I approached the dijk from the opposite end of the sheep and loved seeing them come more and more into view. This particular dijk, btw, is for pedestrians and cyclists only.

I could have dropped dead right then and there. I was in heaven.

But...there were 3 sheepdogs who also kept me entertained!
I wouldn't have missed them for anything. The way they chased after the sheep whenever they started getting too close to the street or walkway was a riot. Talk about doing what they were made for.
The thing was, they looked like they were in heaven!

At one point I walked down the dijk to get the whole thing from a different point of view.
Talk about doing what he was made for!

I wasn't the only one who stopped by to talk to him.

But watching this mother and child took the cake.
She, too, was in heaven. I knew exactly how/what she was feeling.

When the sheep got to the end of the dijk, from where I had entered, they were ready to cross over to the other side. But first, the shepherd moved in amongst them and started looking for one in particular. He told me there was a "bad" sheep that always went out into the car traffic on the other side and had to be tied up.
This was when his crook came in handy.
And this was when I remembered (from past sermons) how the shepherd knows his sheep!

Baaaa-d, Baaa-d, Baaa-d sheep!

All the others got to cross over to the other side.
It's always greener there, of course.

It really was greener....

...and this time they were in heaven.

It was the perfect time to wave Good-Bye and go home to eat my own lunch.
They really made me hungry!

Talk about soulful! My hand instinctively covered my heart every time I walked past the shepherd, letting him know how it all affected mijn hart en ziel (my heart and soul). I'll never forget it. It really was heaven on earth.


  1. Oh my... you clearly had a ball here! I've been meaning to reply to your note and the weeks just get away from me... still stuck in a lot of STUFF and plodding through.

    I do so enjoy taking a break and reading your posts. Your enthusiasm for life and its treats is so infectious that it always lifts my spirits to visit your blog!

    A couple of favorites... the one with the shepherd and his charges (where he is thinking and studying the situation) and the collage of the sheep (next to the last one of them "in heaven" dinning on the grass) jumped out of me on first glance! And of course, I cannot stop at just a couple... I also like the ones of the mother and child!

    Until next time... which might be awhile if I'm frantically doing last minute trip prep next Monday. You know I'll drop by eventually!

  2. This post definitely made me smile. If I took Cammie there, she would have loved it. She would have been talking, I just know!

    Love all of the points of views and I am sure those dogs love doing what they do. Who wouldn't enjoy playing all day long outside, running! A dogs life for sure!

    Happy times for photo meet ups in England. Can't wait to see some pics!

  3. Victoria: Your "breaks" with me here humble and honor me, especially knowing your plate is always full. Thank you. This time with the shepherd and sheep really made my day on so many levels. I felt so lucky to see the whole process.

    Take your time with what you need to do and pamper youself. I'll always be here when you come back!

    ET: I absolutely could picture you and Cammie being that mom and child, watching this whole experience with glee.

    We have had a tremendous time here in England, flying back later this afternoon. You can imagine all the images I now need to work through and process...and post in bits-n-pieces. I've got my work cut out for me. :)

  4. Incredible experience to come across and feel so fully. Wonderful!!

  5. Ruth: I really could have died and gone to heaven on the spot! In that regard, it really was heaven on earth.

  6. that is fun to watch.

    we have a similar way of clearing out grass (started in airport, near the airport) by using goats. the company that supplies the goats is called GOATS R US. the goats can be seen everywhere. it's fun. it stops traffic for sure :)

    seen the photos uploaded by tracy on fb.

  7. PC: Goats would be fun to watch, too, Maria. So smart to have a win-win situation like that!

    And yes, I've seen Tracy's FB photo. I'll have to look again. We had such a great time. :)

  8. Hee! Fun post Ginnie! Got an extra little giggle with the Baaaa-d Baaaaa-d sheep!

  9. Mad: Glad you caught the Baaa-d sheep. :) It was such a soulful time for me which I'll never forget.

  10. The moment I walked into the apartment, I knew that you wnet to see the sheep.
    Your eyes told the story.
    Sheep and you... it is 'hart en ziel' to you.
    I am so glad that I saw them on my way home and told you about it and that the weather was good.
    Even to us it is special to see these 'life' grass-mowers in action.
    One day we will visit the sheep 'at home', they onlu live 30 minutes away from us.
    Beautiful pictures, beautiful story with it.
    I love the ones, where he is looking for the 'run-away' sheep and tied it to the lamp-post.
    I am so happy that you can experience these things from so up-close..... more close and Dutch you cannot get :)

  11. Astrid: More Dutch you cannot get! That phrase says it all for me, every time I hear it. Hartstikke bedankt, MLMAMV.

  12. Ginnie,
    you are really a fabulouse story teller.
    This post is simply fantastic.
    Even though the photos are soundless, I can hear it all;-)
    What an experience.
    Have seen somthing similar in the Mountains in SW Norway - but you know - it's faster for us to go to Holland;-)

    btw. My 3rd post from The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park was posted this evening...

  13. Tor: To experience this anywhere in the world has got to be heaven, as you obviously know. So glad you have seen it, too!

    I'll check out your new post shortly....

  14. Looks like a fun time! I really like the sheep dogs. Thanks for sharing this adventure.

  15. Tim: I LOVED watching the sheepdogs. It was like it was in their blood. Amazing. And you're more than welcome, of course. :)

  16. Well, now that I've shared this post all over the web, I should leave a comment! It's so funny - I was talking with a fellow this morning who just returned from his daughter's in St. John's, Newfoundland. He was saying that they're trying there to re-establish prairie, discourage mechanical mowing, and such. He wondered if it wouldn't be possible to bring in sheep to do the job. WELL!!! Now he knows the answer!

    This really is wonderful, and one of the best parts is watching the relationship between the shepherd and sheep, and the dogs and the sheep. It's like watching ensemble acting. Taken individually they're impressive, but working together - they'll just blow you away!

    And don't you know those sheep were happy. Look at that grass!

  17. SA: Thank you, dear Linda, for sharing this post and leaving a comment! You have humbled and honored me. The whole thing really was a marvel to behold and DOES make perfect sense. Why not!

  18. What a great post Ginnie – your enthusiasm is contagious I think and everyone would have loved to be with you and the sheep. You have some very good pictures there – I am a sheep lover too!

  19. Vagabonde: Thanks a million! It was such a thrill for me...hard to explain it. I guess when you're not around sheep much at all in your lifetime, it makes for a giddy experience. :)