Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Joy of Retirement

By Amber Donkey

It is now official, I have retired from my duties of head greeter in the big barn. However, my role has merely shifted, not gone away. I have actually moved closer to Dawn’s computer now, so there is sure to be more writing activity going on!

Last winter was really hard on my old bones. My teeth have seen better days as well. I have enjoyed an incredible summer with all the great care my human friends have added to make me even more comfortable. However, the cooler nights and the thought of winter chill, admittedly began to worry me. Dawn told me there was a second option but it would require moving to another smaller barn attached to her house. I was a little skeptical at first, as I truly love all my friends in the big barn and they need me. My goat herd needs me the most. But Dawn informed me that I could still go out with my goats on nice days and it wouldn’t be any more of a walk than I already manage. And Dawn and Margot both promised me that I would still see all my human friends and could still greet visitors, although it is by appointment now.

I thought that whole idea sounded dignified. I mean, being seen by appointment is kind of special actually. But the most important thing is that I am not without a job. That is not what retirement is all about. Retirement isn’t a time for doing nothing. It’s a time to reassess what it is we are here to do and to spend more time doing that, rather than being distracted by work and other busy kind of things. It’s a time to look inside ourselves. At least for me, that is what I’m doing.

My new job is a big one. First of all, my new friends now consist of a herd of geldings. As soon as I stepped into that barn, I knew my work was cut out for me. They are badly in need of a female to help guide them. There is young Shawnee, a 4 year old paint gelding, who seems to be quite smitten with me actually. He breathed new life into this old sagging body. Then there is Jeremy who is the leader of this band of orphans. I call him Prince Charming. He is quite magnificent actually and I find his energy to be very refreshing. He is strong and noble and very gentle and soft spoken. I like him very much. And he welcomed me to his barn. And then we have the two donkey boys. I have heard them on the farm for years now, yet we have never met. They call me the wise donkey. And I now call them the wise guys. They are badly in need of donkey supervision. Its not their fault. Neither of them had their mothers with them for long and they did the best they could by relying on the wisdom of the horses. But donkey wisdom is different. They are for sure my project.

I also have another herd of goats now to tend to. There are three of them, and one of them has a special stall at night right next to mine. I find great comfort in goats. They bring with them the calmness of the earth and the laughter of the wind. There is nothing as good as a goat to lift your spirits on a dreary day. They demand laughter from their friends and I am the first one to sign up to be their friend.

So, although I have retired, I have a new found purpose. I have actually always wanted my own little barn. They tell me I will be so much warmer for the winter and I have to say that is very appealing to me. I still have all the same staff caring for me which is great, because I care for them too and I would have not opted to move up here if I had to leave everyone. And then there is the writing. Now that I’m retired, I think we’ll have much more time to write. I’m just trying to explain to Dawn now how that all works. She still gets caught up in this time thing. Stay tuned, there is more to come about all that I will now learn from my new friends and family.

Please come see me anytime, but by appointment only!


Anonymous said...

I was able to visit Amber and her new barn friends on September 29th. She looks years younger and has a glow. I went to see Amber last. She did not hurry me as I went to the horse and sheep barn first. She just wanted to make sure I had left her some carrots. Amber still loves her carrots. It appears the gray cat took over Amber's greeting position in the barn. He walked with me as I visited each horse. As I fed each horse and spoke with them he sat and waited. Thank you Amber and Felix for sharing your braying. You made me laugh. Thank you goats and donkeys for introducing yourself to me. Even though it was cold and rainy I was happy and warm. I will see you soon. Thank you Jackie

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