Tuesday, September 07, 2010

By the Paddock

A cool sunny September morning, blue sky and fluffy clouds from here to there, green fields unfurling into the distance like bolts of rich green cloth, the sturdy companionship of a placid flock of Border Leicesters in the Lanark Highlands...

Time spent hanging out by the paddock fence is time well spent, and no matter how I feel when I first arrive, I invariably leave in a peaceable frame of mind. One particular golden eyed ewe is always happy to see me when I turn up at the fence, and her undisguised pleasure shows in her delighted expression.

Johann Sebastian Bach's lovely Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (The cheerful hunt is all my heart's desire) has a way of ambling through my thoughts at such times. BMW 208, usually called simply Jagdkantate (the Hunt Contata), was composed for the birthday of a Austrian Duke, and the fifth aria, Schafe k├Ânnen sicher weiden (Sheep may safely graze), is gorgeous stuff indeed. Some six hundred moons ago, I loved playing the aria on both piano and organ and later managed decent renditions on both cello and alto recorder. Bach's creation, my memories of playing it and the present company of the sheep continue to gladden and pacify, to dish out in abundance what the British poet Chaucer called "sentence and solace".

4 comments:

Valerie said...

The center ewe in the last photo certainly does appear happy to see you. So cute. I do love "Sheep may safely graze", but the only copy I own is choral, and I'd prefer not to have the voices.

Nan said...

I can almost hear the sheepy in the last pic. Years ago we had a Border Leicester ram, and he was the gentlest, kindest, most attentive sheep ever. He mated with our four Rambouillets and we had lovely lambs. They were all big sheep! They certainly 'safely grazed' here, and died natural deaths in old age here at Windy Poplars. We now have six Romney crosses - smaller sheep but just as adorable. One of my favorite animals. Have you ever seen the movie of A Child's Christmas in Wales? The song is featured on it. I love it. Beautiful words from Chaucer.

One Woman's Journey said...

Beautiful - you have even more talents with your music. Blessings sent to you this day.

Sky said...

no surprise that you make music with sounds like you do with words. :)