November is a time when a cloak of quietude settles over the Sanctuary. Not unexpectedly, with the end of regular Open Days there is an empty-feeling on Wednesdays and Sundays; we note the absence of the particular energy that our visitors bring to the environment. At the same time, though, it is comfortable during this month to slow down a bit, to move at a pace that is more in keeping with the animals’ rhythm.
A CBC producer came to interview us yesterday. Being a radio person, she was attuned to sound (and lack thereof) and she marvelled at the relative silence blanketing the farm. “When do the donkeys bray?”, she asked. As we walked around the treatment area, the farriers murmured to the donkeys. A radio played softly in the background. Sarah, a member of our staff, stood off to the side talking soothingly to a donkey who was next in line for a hoof trim. No loud voices cut the air.
After leaving the treatment area, we walked up to the Donkey House where once again, there was a tangible peacefulness. All that we could hear were the rustling sounds made by the donkeys as they ambled around the straw-covered floor as well as the munch munch whispers of hay being consumed.
When we moved on to another part of the barnyard, I was not really surprised to hear the producer state that she would like to return on one of our December Open Days. The sounds of silence of the animals’ world were soothing enough but for her purposes a few exclamations, both donkey and human would have been welcome.
Sandra Pady, Founder