Morning coffee in hand, I fired up the computer and settled in to check e-mail before heading out to the barnyard to feed animals. One of the first messages to catch my eye had this subject line: “World Trade Center Tragedy.” Laura Simms, a storytelling friend in New York, could see the crumbling towers from her apartment. In dismay, she reached out to the global community of storytellers. Her anguish was palpable.
I turned on the television and witnessed a scene I would never have dreamed possible while I was growing up in the U.S. From the ranch in British Columbia where I watched the day’s horrors unfold, I felt helpless and confused. So I turned to the one place I knew would offer comfort. As I wrote to Laura:
“I went out to the barnyard and called to my friends. They came, as they always do.
“Black Boy, the old ram with the magnificent horns, tucked his great head into my shoulder and groaned with pleasure as I scratched the underside of his legs. Suli, the shy livestock guardian dog, lifted her nose to catch the scent of my mood, then rubbed against me in a kind of knowing that offered comfort. Sheep, cattle, horses, dogs – they gathered around and reminded me of the lessons they teach daily: forgiveness, love, simplicity.”
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