Sheep can be stubborn creatures.

As I watched the road blur by, the hills loom closer then shrink away, I observed the woolly inhabitants of the Borders as they got about their business of eating and wandering.

One sheep in particular drew my attention: I saw it's grey-white head straining out from between the wires of the thin fence. It had been left to graze a field that had previously held a crop of something already harvested - maybe cabbages by the stalky green remnants there- something nutritious and easy to eat for a sheep. This sheep, far from being a follower and taking the easy meal was searching for fresh grass on the just-out-of-reach verge. It kept pushing and stretching, ignoring the ready treats behind it.

I felt for that sheep. I was that sheep. I kept pushing and reaching for things just out of reach even when there were good things all around me, things I could have without having to try so hard.

Sometimes its good to strive. It's good to have a goal, an ambition, a plan, something to work for. Sometimes though, you need to take what is around you and be thankful - enjoy it for what it is and enjoy the plenty that it offered. I am a stubborn creature, but enough sometimes really is enough.

I have been a mess. I am mess, in some ways. I have been striving and reaching for something I cannot have and ignoring the plenty -the exceptional, generous plenty - that is all around me. In different ways (and each time with love and compassion) I have been told by different people more or less to pull my woolly socks up, I'm fleecing myself if I don't do things for myself and appreciate all the postive things I am and that are around me. Still I strain stubbornly at the fence of my own making and get strangled in the process.

I am not, however much I sympathise, that sheep: I can find a gate and get whatever grass I want and need. I just need to pull my head in and look, bit by bit, I am taking my head out of that fence.

I watched the road for a while. Saw more sheep, saw cows, bullocks, horses gathered around a manger, then saw the familiar site of Arthur's Seat squatting solemnly, watching over Edinburgh. As I drew closer to home, and the suburban sprawl of Edinburgh started to litter the landscape, the things that hit closest to home seemed to tighten like a fist inside me and batter at my heart- I strained and strained against different fences. Maybe I pushed too hard - I started to hurt and later I let it out in a wild-eyed bleat.

Today I think about sheep and how I do not want to be one.