A week after the fire that could have taken everything that we love, I made an attempt to apologize to the goats. I've felt so awful about the fact that we left them here and even though everything turned out well... it could have been a disaster.
I believe that life should be lived vertically and in the moment but my beginners mind is still feeling guilt for leaving the goats that day and I have wanted to discuss this feel with them.
When I went out to the goat house this morning they rushed in thinking I was going to feed them but I told them that I wanted to tell them something.
This was the response...
"I've come to apologize." I said.
"Because we did a terrible thing. We left you when the fire was here and I've felt so awful that I couldn't even talk about it before now."
I got a lump in my throat. My eyes got watery. "I just need to talk about it."
"It's not necessary Farmlady." They walked outside and away from me.
I went around to the fence...
He took his time...
"Are you going to feed us again. The Prospector already fed us this morning but we won't mind if you want to feed us too."
"I wasn't planning on giving you food, Murph'. I wanted to say something about why we left you last week, when the fire was so close."
Murph' looked up and me and said "OK."
"Well, I'm trying not to make excuses but the fire was very close. We needed to evacuate and it needed to be done fast. In those moments when these decisions were made, we thought that there would not be enough time to try and load all four of you into the back of the truck. We thought you would panic and we didn't have the right equipment to make this happen fast and efficiently. I'm so sorry we left you here. It breaks my heart to think what might have happen to you."
Murph' gave me that "magic goat" look and said, " But it didn't happen. The fire didn't come and what might have happen didn't. You are damaging the present by letting something that didn't happen, or could have happen, make you sad today."
I looked at Murph' and Freckles, who was standing there moving his head up and down in agreement.
"Farmlady, you don't have to apologize to anyone. The circumstances of that day were just what they were. No amount of feeling bad will change what happen and what you did in response was what you needed to do. We are fine."
I looked into those amber eyes.
There was no animosity.... no what if. No anger.
There was only NOW.
"Do you have any food for us?", Murphy asked again.
Bart walked over when he heard the word 'food'.
Brownie kept his distance and then started walking toward us.
I rubbed each head and each beautiful ear.
"I'm so glad that you are OK."
"I'm trying to live in the moment but the flames of the fire come back to haunt me. The "what ifs" worm their way into my thoughts. I watch for plumes of smoke on the road below and constantly look out the windows checking for fire.
I can't answer questions about why we didn't do something to save the goats. Why we didn't open the gates. Why we left them. I can only say what we did in that moment of stark fear. There were no choices that we could make at the time.
My heart is still sad even though everything turned out all right.
So, I listened to Murphy... the small voice in my head that carries the commentary that constantly speaks to me... that makes up stories... that gives words to all the creatures in my life. This never goes away.
I could hear the small noises of satisfaction and the munching of the hay in their mouths. Murphy pulled a bunch of hay to the ground and ate from it. None of the others bothered him.
And this human being knows that her life without these animals would not be what is it... a joy.
I still apologize to them. I still think about the "what ifs". I still think that the circumstances could have been so different and horrible but.... I can't stay in that place anymore. I need to move on.
My shadow will be gone from this place someday...