Day 1. June 2, 2015
Shepherd’s Corner is an ecological ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Vision statement: Shepherd’s Borner Farm and Ecology Center is a small corner of creation seeking to recreate the lands’ wholeness by rediscovering the life-giving harmony between the people and the land. Here, people of all backgrounds can learn to reconnect with the natural environment, themselves, one another, and the Creator who made them all.
Shepherd’s Corner is filled with so many wonders! My first day was a day of exploration and getting to know the land. Shepherd’s Corner sits on 160 acres of land which is split up into fields, grazing areas for the sheep and llama, gardens, a big woods, and “new” woods. The new woods was a maintained field 40 years ago, and then it was left alone to become what it truly wants to be… a forest flourishing with all sorts of plants and animals! It is amazing how nature can repair itself!
There are fourteen sheep and they all have names! I only know a few; Cabrito, Fred, Freckles, and Blossom (the oldest sheep at 13 years old, which really old for a sheep). They are rotated between different sections of a grass feld where they graze and lounge in the sun while being watched over by Fernando the llama. I had no idea that llamas, when there is only one of them, are herders and protectors. Those sheep are his sheep, and he will kick up a fuss if he senses that one of them is in danger!
Sr. Rosie, the director of Shepherd’s Corner, gave me a tour of the beautiful Children’s Garden, which is mainly for educational purposes for the summer camps that visit the farm. Some of the food is also donated to local food pantries. The outside of the flower beds are painted with brightly colored murals, and within the beds grow a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, including a large assorment of lettuce, straberries, tomatoes, and many more!
Within the new woods is the Meditation Nature Trail that is centered on the ideas of caring for the land, life, and spirit. There are fourteen themed stops along the trail that emphasize the relationship between humans and nature, and a gorgeous labyrinth that encircles you with all of the beautiful plants. The Capitol Square Rotary provided funding, labor and assisted with the designs. The Upper Arlington High School Environmental Science Club helped create the stations. Some examples of the trails stations are Brokenness and Healing, Origins, Rootedness, and Web of Life.
The Web of Life station is my favorite because there is a giant constructed web that you can touch and stand underneath, looking up into the sky while pondering on the connection of everything. If one piece of the web is gotten rid of, bees for example, then the whole structure of life falls apart. Without bees, many plants would not have their seeds dispersed for reproduction, and majority of the fruits and vegetables that humans depend on would no longer exist. At each station there are deep refletive quetsions that really put the big picture of life into perspective. We (every creature on Earth) are all one, sharing the same resources, traveapart. ling the same ground beneath our feet, breathing the same air. Earth is the only home that we have, and it is important for everyone to take care of it as it has taken care of us.
Nort sure how to take are of the Earth? Well, I have learned the secret to finding out how, and it is to go directly to the source and ask the land!