Today, it is very cold outside and a few minutes ago as I walked up the lane with the dogs, there were no other animals in sight. In spite of the frigid temperature, given that the sun was blazing in the sky I had expected to see some donkeys out in the paddocks, basking in the solar warmth. That is their usual practice on such glowing January afternoons. Instead, when I went inside the Donkey House there they were, munching away at their free-choice barley straw, obviously contented to forego the direct sunlight for their shelter with its added warmth of shared body heat.
As I stood and communed with the donkeys, I could not help but be reminded of how their apparent obliviousness to weather conditions is in such contrast to our human fascination (or is it an obsession?) with temperature levels and wind chill factors. From morning until night the paranoia of the 24/7 news world warns unendingly of catastrophes to come while cameras comb the globe, seeking out images of extreme weather. These tense predictions pervade our lives — and to what end?
As thoughts like these ran through my head, I appreciated anew the peace and quiet of the donkeys’ world. Too soon, it was time to return to the house. The dogs raced ahead while I plodded along, feeling the cold of the moment with my face turned in to the light. My mind was blissfully blank.
Sandra Pady, Founder