I’ve been feeling sad for the past week or so. Even though the attack in Orlando feels very personal to me, it’s not one particular event or situation that’s upsetting me. I think that it’s the tone of conversation I’ve seen over Orlando, Black Lives Matter, Brexit, the presidential election, and even topics that are important but not ultimately tremendously significant, like merging local school districts. I’m less upset that terrible things happen than I am at how poorly, shortsightedly, and provincially we handle them. I am most upset at how people talk about other groups of people. When we forget that large groups are made up of individuals who are as complex and contradictory as we all are, terrible words and decisions follow.
So I turn to my sheep in search of peace. In June, I usually find them relaxing under their shade, taking pleasure in the comforts of home and company. An ear shakes off some flies with a quick flick. They turn to see me and usually baa an acknowledgement. Sometimes they all get up, hoping I’ll set up a new pasture. But sometimes, I can just sit down, and a few will come and visit, and gradually we’ll all sit down together.