Auld Lang Syne
‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind’. It is minutes to midnight on Tuesday 31st of December 2013 and where am I? Sitting on my bathroom floor, willing a tiny lamb to live and caressing a pitifully thin kid goat.
Florence Nightingoat’s eyes are stuck on me, a little shiver every now and then from under her purple blanket tells me I am yet to be counted in her circle of all too few friends (I secretly take comfort in knowing that I will get there one day soon). A playful kitten is at it again, convinced my back is a mountain that must be climbed and conquered in the only way she knows how, the hook and drag method – ouch!
It is in the silence of the moment I close my eyes and think back on all that 2013 has been.
I think of the gentle Miss Marple who came into our world and melted our hearts, who united so many and then, when her work on this earth was complete, she departed for her next journey.
I think of dear Mrs Peaches who concluded her final magnificent year on this planet having so splendidly convinced many that pigs are so much more than merely the before of a ham sandwich. I think too of Herbie and Limbo, who will not be seeing in the New Year with us.
A heavy sigh escapes my lips as I walk outside and look to the heavens and ask, ‘Why?’ And as I look up at all that stretches above me, I know I am not alone in my contemplation of life. I see it every day in the animals around me.
The jovial Beethoven Pig, as he stands staring at the setting sun and whilst I know not what he thinks, I certainly know that he does. His sniff of the air, his thoughts complete, he continues on whatever was occupying him prior to this moment.
Perky Little Miss Sunshine, as she slowly collapses like a marionette puppet whose strings have been let go, melting into the earth as she stretches out and drinks in the sun’s rays. One eye opens, casts a skyward glance and visible is a slight nod of her head as her audible thoughts, ‘Ah, this feels good,’ touch your heart.
I think of the 3,002 creatures who found sanctuary through our farm gates in 2013, each and every one as individual as the next, many with chequered pasts but each and every one given the chance to contemplate all that their future will be. And while those futures will all be as unique as the individuals themselves, they will be futures as nature intended; happy and free, with a life of choices – theirs not ours.
It is the profoundness of these moments that strengthen my resolve to carry on, buoyed by the support and belief of our many supporters who have made everything Edgar’s Mission achieved in 2013 possible. Supporters, who too share our belief that a humane and just world for all is just around the corner.
And I think of my dear Edgar, for without whose formidable and inimitable presence in my life, none of this would have been possible. Love you big time, miss you even more. ‘For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet. For auld lang syne…’