“A herder is a worker who lives a pastoralist life gathering and caring for a herd of domesticated livestocks…herders move with livestock wandering around open wild pastures in a nomadic/semi-nomadic fashion.” It sounds simple enough, people have lived this kind of lifestyle for a long time, but these days it is rare and considered romantic. Since my first dip into herding I’ve leaned that it is not so simple and the more I learn, the more it becomes a philosophy.  It is guidance with a purpose, I want something from those animals, milk or meat, the animals are raised in some form of dependency. In my case, I have been semi-nomadic, moving between lower and higher elevations on the mountain. 

Following the animals, the animals follow me. The goats select their food, I observe them. Sometimes they are indecisive, I guide them. Our relationship grows over time, as I get to know them better, as a herd, as individuals. It is an interesting exchange of affection and knowledge between species and specimens. It is this interdependency that I really enjoy, of taking the lead, and being led, oscillating, and I imagine, this symbiotic exchange happening all around me, continuously. Yes it is something we associate with other species,  but why not our own?

To be continued….

But as a prelude, please read my essay at: POLAR-IZATION (artez.nl)