A Pastoral Life

Hi, Degs again.

Just found a few minutes to share some thoughts.

I am sitting in the kitchen of our tied house that we have occupied for the last seventeen years looking out at the tree dotted ancient parkland of Baggrave Hall Estate where I work. Today is a good day, the sun is shining on the autumn leaves that are being tossed around in a stiff breeze, two buzzards wheel above in a clear blue sky calling to one another.  My day’s work was to fell and clear two ancient chestnut trees that had finally succumbed  to disease.  I started the chainsaw first thing this morning and a deer broke cover and bounded over a fence into a wood.  Later on in the day I was entertained by a stoat as I sat quietly on one of the two now horizontal chestnuts.  He appeared from a grass verge carrying a dead pheasant poult twice his size and weight and proceeded to drag his prize, with much effort, across the road and into the undergrowth opposite.

I often work alone and in remote parts of the estate, but today I was working by the single track road that bissects the estate.  This resulted in frequent stoppages as friends and acquaintances pulled up for a bit of a chat.  We know and are known by most people in the area.  Our family motto has always been “you only get out as much as you put in” and we have been fortunate in as much as where ever we have lived from Scotland to England, Wales and Portugal we have always become accepted and involved with the communities.

Our family unit is a tight one and on the whole contentment reigns.  I find this remarkable due to the stressful nature of most of the family’s employment, three out of the five of us are involved in social work at the sharp end of things.  I have been involved in agriculture as a shepherd over the last 30yrs or so.  It is ironic that I left one pastoral vocation for another so to speak.  However when I return from the old boys reunions it is amazing just how many of us went on into some type of vocational careers:  social work, nursing, teaching, counseling, paramedics; so perhaps the recruitment did in fact manage to gather together a group of unique characters of good morals who cared.  To this day I cannot quite put my finger on why there is still a gel that holds us together.

2 responses to “A Pastoral Life

  1. Hi Degs, You might remember me from Mirfield. My name is Andy Routledge. I have spent all of my adult life in Israel. The food industry had been my primary occupation. I too live in a tight community of 970 souls in all. Our surrounding is also quite pastoral, a combination of huge gardens and wooded areas. In 2005 I decided to go back to school to study psychotherapy. Upon finishing I realized that I really wanted something much deeper and spiritual. I studied Sufism to begin with, even taught it for a while but I finally settled on Lurianic Kabbalah. I have come to see that all of the Hebrew holy texts, including the old testament are Kabbalistic texts. I now write about and give talks about the spiritual path. Much of what I lecture about ties in with the present world crisis because in Kabbalah the ego of man is scrutinized very closely. I guess that you’re right when you infer that our education at Mirfied has a very humanistic aspect to it. Personally I nose dived into philosophy after I got married. “Why”, being the foremost question on my mind. I guess things just gathered momentum from there. Mirfield and it’s memories are always very fond one’s for me. I know that I was always a bit of a social misfit while I was there but after being diagnosed with severe ADD It’s pretty obvious where that came from. Anyway, it was nice reading you little story, best regards to you and your family. Andy

  2. Hi Andy yes you do ring a bell in the deep recess of my memory.
    Your name has come up at several reunions so I was aware that you were in Israel.I am glad to hear that your life is going pretty well at the momment .You appear to be quite an academic.When you find the answer to why perhaps you will let me in on the secret.Perhaps, as your name does pop up at reunions among your contemporaries,you were not the social misfit that you thought you were .In any case there was no such thing as normal at Mirfield,

    Hope that you continue following and contributing to the blog ,Looking forward to hearing your thoughts soon


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