A Shepherd’s Reflection.
Farming is an occupation, or dare I say a life’s work, that is very influenced by the seasons. And some touch me more than others. At this moment, this edge of Spring into Summer is one of my favorites. You see there is a pause. We have completed lambing, prepared and attended a fiber festival, finished shearing, hoof trimming, vaccines and tagging. We are getting geared up for summer chores, such as fencing, getting our garden going, planning our trip to the mill to prepare fleeces for another festival. So I can breath a bit. The grasses have fully recovered from last year’s drought. In fact, bush hogging is on the list for the to do’ s. So I don’t have to feed hay, one less chore and expense.
I take a bit of time for myself and enjoy the bounty of the farm. The weather is warmer, but the evenings are still cooler and the humidity is low. The honeysuckle is perfuming the air with sweet notes. The barn swallows are darting around gathering nest building materials. The chickens are busy scratching in my yet to be planted gardens, taking care of some tilling, clucking in conversation. My rooster has thoroughly cleaned out the debris from my flower pots. Lilies and irises are blooming attracting butterflies.
So I decide to take some time to myself now that the sun is staying up longer. After the rabbits are fed and I close up the dye studio, I pull out my swim suit, a boogie board, beach chair and kindle and head down to the fishing pier. The Rocket Man tags along to serve as lifeguard. I walk down through the sheep pasture, with the tall grass tickling my thighs. The pond greets me as I kick off my flip flops. I love the texture of the worn wooden boards of the fishing pier. I open my chair and settle the kindle and my towel into it. The Rocket Man settles into his watchful position.
Frogs add to the bird’s chorus. I attach the strap of the boogie board to my wrist and I ease down the dock ladder into the cool water.
At this moment I am thanking God I was blessed this spring fed pond. I use the blog is board to float past a few lilipads and once in clear water, I abandon the board and begin a slow steady breast stroke out to the middle, board following behind via the strap. After about a hundred and thirty yards, I turn back, and use the board when I run out of breath . I do about five or six laps of this, allowing my mind to think of nothing but the birds that collect bugs on the water’s surface ahead of me, or the smell of the honeysuckle, or the sunlight flickering on the tiny wake left by my very slow swimming strokes. This is my mini-vacation from, well, everything. From the chores, the bills, the orders that never seem to get done fast enough. But we all have that stuff don’t we? I love that I can get away in my back yard.
So as I climb out of my pond, I look forward to drying off in the sun, in my beach chair, reading my latest book on my kindle.
Rocket also takes a sun bath. Soon, I take a deep breath and promise myself to add wine to the experience next time, and I head up the hill through the tall grass. The sheep are playing their version of Marco Polo as mama ewes try to locate their lambs.
I am loving country life at this moment as I enter the real world again, wondering what I have to cook for dinner.