Beauty, in all its manifestations,  has always been important to me but the older I get the more it has become a faith, a yearning, and a guiding principle for my life. My great fortune is that the farm puts all this in crystal clear perspective, day after day.

This morning, while enjoying coffee on the balcony a deafening shriek from the pasture shattered all semblance of peace and it was decidedly not beautiful.  A lamb’s call for mom, usually a distinguishable and loving “maaaaa”, was one of the ugliest sounds ever to set my eardrums reeling.

You see, in order to make sure the sheep had shade for the hot three-day rotation, I made the paddock more of an L-shape to include more trees and it seems that one lamb, not the brightest lamb in the flock, could see and hear mom but couldn’t figure out how to get to her.  So, this morning, I received a ringing assurance that beauty extends far beyond what we see with our eyes.  Even though my surroundings were stunning, with trees as far as my eyes could see, two identical cardinals, two Eastern Phoebes parents feeding babies in a nest just right of my head, four goldfinches, several darting hummingbirds, and a blooming magnolia within fifty feet of me, this lamb screaming bloody murder at the top of its little lungs trumped all.  Nothing could be fully appreciated until beauty was restored to this lost lamb and so we leave the stunning for the sake of the lamb.

I realized that it’s not that we can only experience beauty in total silence but that we can’t experience beauty in any form with something or someone close to us is suffering.  Thankfully for me, this lamb wasn’t about to suffer in silence.