On today's edition of Goat of the Week, I introduce everyone to Han Solo. I chose Han for a couple of reasons - the nerd side of me is going crazy as I haven't yet had a chance to see the new Star Wars movie.... The main reason I chose Han though, is due to Christmas being just a couple of days away. Not everyone loves the holiday season. For some people it is the hardest time of the year and each day is a struggle. Everyone will have their own reasons for these difficulties or struggles through the holidays. I myself struggle in many different ways this time of year, and I know so many other that do too. Now what does a goat have to do with all that? Well Han is different in a special kind of way, which is why I have chosen him for this "Christmas Edition" of GOTW. I thought he would be the perfect goat to open a discussion about the ways we can all struggle to cope in a world where we don't always feel we belong. The holidays tend to magnify those feelings and make one feel even more alone. For that reason I feel this is the perfect time to introduce Han to everyone. In a herd as large as ours, everyone has their "role". For Han, that role is to be our resident a**hole. I know that sounds harsh, but I assure you it isn't. Here is where I am going with that...
Han was born in 2015, in the year that my naming theme was Star Wars. It was apparent to me very early on that Han was a highly sensitive individual. He was very skittish, and would tense up the moment anyone tried to touch him. At the time it was early on in my studies and I wasn't as aware then as I am now as to the struggles of highly sensitive individuals - I am also now very aware that I too am one of these highly sensitive types. We can sense and feel the emotional energies of others, and sometimes those emotions can cause confusion and overwhelm us, especially if we are unaware that the emotions we may be feeling, may not in fact be our own, but that we are picking up the emotions of others. Han being so sensitive like this, made him virtually impossible to "tame". He is not like any of our other goats that are friendly and curious. He is not. If you approach Han he will run away and knock you down if he needs to in order to get out of your way. He is incredibly tricky for me to catch for his regular maintenance and care, but over the years I have learned the best way to "deal" with Han. Like our Queen Bonnie, Han is only handled by me. The trust we have developed in our relationship is based in mutual respect. Han knows that I will do what needs to be done and let him go back to his life of quiet contemplation without any extra fuss. You could say we have an understanding with each other. I think he knows I am a similar creature.
The sad reality for a goat that is not easy to manage is often to end up on someone's plate. Fortunately for Han, he was born on a farm where a herd was being created that would need someone like him in it. I am grateful that I am able to offer a place for those who would normally suffer a much different fate. My herd is as large as it is in a way to attempt to make a representation of what our own society or community is like. For Han, he is often judged unfairly for being the way he is. I have heard visitors that come here refer to him as the "grouch", the "mean one", the "angry one" etc. None of those labels are fair or any indication of who he really is. Nor is me referring to him as the "Resident A**hole", but that literally is his role. He is here to represent those "types" of people in our society. Han is not grouchy, mean or angry all the time. He does not like to be touched, many people are the same way. There was an interesting point in time last summer that came about a month after we moved to Woodfield. One day while out on a herd walk we stopped to lay in the grass and let the herd graze. All of a sudden, Han was at my side. He just stayed there right beside me, not moving. As a slowly reached out to touch him, he let me. Even more shocking, he let me rub him all over! I even got to take a selfie with him. (thank heavens otherwise no one would believe me). For about a month after that day though, Han continued to interact with people and let them touch him. I thought perhaps he had determined to like people afterall, but nope! After those few weeks, it was as if he decided I tried it and didn't like it, and he went back to being the Han we've always known. Hey, at least he gave it a shot! ;)
So back to my reason for choosing him for this weeks post. I think that as a society we are so quick to judge others. We forget that we should always remember to be kind and compassionate first, because we have no way of knowing what someone else is going through. At this time of the year especially while so many struggle. I think it is even more important to remember to always reach out in kindness to others. Gentleness goes a long way. No one is perfect. We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all have things hiding in our closets. We all have regrets. We all lose things we love. We all grieve. We all feel too much sometimes. When Christmas rolls around, please take the time to think of those in your life that may be struggling right now and reach out if you can. We all need love. Love in all forms.
Merry Christmas to everyone from all of us at Sky River Meaodws. We wish you all an abundance of health, love, light and happiness in 2020.