Yesterday afternoon clouds gathered again, giving us a heavy rain shower late in the day … just as I was heading out to the post office with no umbrella. Oh well.
A bit of rain continued falling overnight, and this morning everything was thick, and lush, and green with raindrops clinging to branches, leaves, petals, and life.
After I took Blu out for an early morning “business” report and barn inspection, he went back inside and I headed back out with my camera. I had noticed some delicate little purple flowers growing here and there around the barn and I wanted to capture them with the camera before they are mowed down by the inevitable first mowing of the lawn mowing which will occur any day now. I know the mowing is necessary, but I do hate to think of the little wild flowers that will all lose their heads within a few days time.
While I was out I heard the gentle clip clop of horses hooves coming up the road, and a carriage with some of our Amish friends went by. I shot a photograph of their horse; I admire their horses so much because they are so fine and handsome looking. My husband said they buy retired race horses for their carriages, which would explain why these animals are so refined in looks as well as movement.
Continuing around the barn, I found leaves have sprouted from our raspberry canes. Oh how I look forward to the raspberries. When they are ripe, we will go out a pickin’ together with our berry baskets after evening meals. The raspberries are small and black, wild and delicious. We have them here around the barn and the willow, and many more over at the cottage.
Here I am, on the verge of re-experiencing those things which were brand new to me last spring. This weekend is our anniversary, April 29th. Last year at this time I was busy taking care of last-minute preparations to leave California with my husband-to-be and head for Las Vegas for our wedding on the way to New York for our new life together.
I love to conjure up the excitement of the moments of pleasure that one particular day, the day before he was to arrive by airplane to meet up with me for our great adventure.
My first stop in the morning was the salon in Burbank for a manicure and pedicure. After that, I headed out to Sherman Oaks to pick up Chinese food from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro for my son and I–our favorite Chinese restaurant. Next, I headed for my son’s apartment and we had a nice banquet together as I glowed in anticipation of things to come, and he smiled quietly in his happiness for me.
Here we are, one year later. No regrets. None at all.
As a matter of fact, if I had known then how it would all turn out I would have been filled with even more anticipation. We, together as a couple, have turned out to be better even than I thought we would be, and my expectations were quite high.
This morning’s rain drops, lush green lawn, and golden morning light reminds me mightily of last spring and summer in my new home and environment. For the first time in my life I was in an environment that brought reality to the song, “Morning Has Broken” as performed by Cat Stevens. I listened to it often last spring and summer, sang it quietly to myself while sitting out on the back stoop watching morning golden light on the wet lawn, streaks of sun’s rays pouring through the willow and other trees in the yard, golden broken light bringing our lovely barn to life.
As I sat there listening to that song in my mind and over, and over, and over again I felt huge wells of gratitude flowing up and out of me, filling up the scene before me and extending out into the greater environment and world, reaching that beauty in everything that is for me, the face of God. A feeling of wonder would overtake me, and all I could do was float in that sense of gratitude and love.
Morning has broken not just here on the farm, but in my life. In our lives. This is morning, though it came in the middle of life, it is the morning.
A fine, fine morning it is.
Love to you, my friend. I wish it for you, for yours, and for others beyond you and yours.
Thank you for sharing this morning with me.
I recall vividly, growing up in North Carolina, the wonderful feelings invoked by the environment all around me just after a summer rainfall. It is one of the richest memories of childhood I possess.
I used to long for that feeling in California, the many years I lived there. It rarely rains in Southern California in the summer, and though I knew it was futile to wish for a summer rain shower, I continued wishing nonetheless.
If you have not ever experienced the feeling, let me share it with you here:
You are outside playing on a hot summer day. The sky is blue, bright, clear. The skin on your bare arms and legs is tight from the heat of the sun, your neck is damp where your hair lies on it, making you too warm but you don’t care because you are a child and play engrosses you. The sounds of nature are all around you as you play without a care in the world.
Suddenly you feel a bit of wind, the sky grows dark in the blink of an eye and you hear your mother calling you to come inside. Rain begins tapping you gently at first, but then hard and fast. Your mother implores you come in immediately because thunder and lightening are on the way.
All of the children scatter to the safety of their homes, and you feel a rush of terrible excitement coursing through your body and senses. Up the stairs you run as fast as you can and your mother is there at the door to usher you and your brothers and sisters inside … one, two, three, four, five. All are present and accounted for.
Thunder and lighting, pelting rain, rattling windows. The power goes out, and thrills you are having, all wide eyed and quiet, expand as a big balloon of living within your very being. Your mother gets out candles and lights them, and everyone waits for the storm to pass.
Sometime later, the skies are clearing and you get to return to the outside world. That world is more magical than it had been a few hours earlier. Perhaps you see a rainbow. Big fat drops of water cover everything, and you see steam rising up from the hot driveway as rain evaporates into the summer air.
The air is moist and cooler than it was, and birds begin chirping here and there. Throughout the neighborhood, children begin venturing back outdoors. There is a smell, a beautiful smell of wet grasses, tree bark, leaves, flowers … a dear beautiful after-rain smell you will treasure the rest of your life and long for if you are pulled away from it.
Saturday we woke to warmth for the first time in quite a while. My husband and I left at about 8:30 in the morning to deliver paint to the Habitat build site, because volunteers would be showing up to paint the interior walls of the new home at 9:00 that morning. We noticed as we drove through the village that everything was peculiarly quiet. With the sudden warmth and sunshine we expected to see people out everywhere, doing things, taking it all in.
Saturday afternoon my husband removed the snow blowing equipment from his tractor, and reconfigured it for heavy lifting. He spent several hours cutting up the fallen trunk and large limbs of our old, dead elm tree out by the willow. He would load up a pile of trunk and branch sections on the tractor and drive them over, across the road to a piece of land we own above the river. That’s where he will store the wood for now, and later he will cut it up for firewood.
I spent some time walking around the yard and surroundings taking photographs of flowers and green buds on tree limbs and branches. I want to keep an accurate photo journal of each and every flower as they come to life this spring and summer. Every week there are new arrivals, and it continues throughout the spring, summer, and into fall. I am going to attempt to catch them all. My husband will help me look them up and identify each by name, to assist me with my journal.
The sound of the birds out in the trees by the willow is tantalizing. Their calls and songs, combined with the chirping of the peepers, and the now occasional ribbiting of the more mature frogs creates an impression that we are living in a bayou. I relished that time in the yard hearing the sounds of our personal bayou, the sound of my husband’s work with the chain saw and the tractor. All of it mixed together with the wonderful warm air and sunshine made for a perfect day and many perfect moments.
The third Sunday of every month we have a potluck lunch at church, after the service. This week I wanted to make something fresh and cool for the warm spring weekend. We decided on an idea I had to make a couscous salad with pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. It hit the mark, so this morning I posted the recipe on the I Live on a Farm website for you. Hmm, hmm, good.
Yesterday was another warm day, but with a wind portending of rain showers to come. Most delicious. Each time I took Blu out for some time in the yard I got to experience the wonderful feel of that warm wind and the darkening of the skies creating the excitement I used to experience as a child. Oh yes, I have my weather back again and I soak up every moment of it.
By 2:30 in the afternoon we got a pretty good drenching, and I had to run around the house closing windows as heavy rain was blowing in. The showers came and went, and came again. At 5:00 out power went out, and shortly after we headed out for a brief walk up the road with Blu. As we walked, a light rain breezed along from time to time. I gathered some materials for Thistleonians, and Blu found a deer antler just recently shed. Oh, how he loved that antler. It was slippery from the rain, so it took him some time to work out how to carry it. Once he got it balanced properly and could hold on it, he pranced proudly in front of us, heading back home with his trophy. The pride that showed in his posture and gait was unmistakable.
We let him take the prize into the house with him, and then we headed back out for more of an exercise walk together. When we started down the road it looked as if the rain had mostly passed and was moving on beyond us toward the north. As it turned out, that first rain had moved on, but there was another larger storm cell moving down from the north. When we were up the road a little less than half a mile, it started raining pretty hard. As we headed back it started pelting us pretty good.
By the time we reached home we were drenched through every layer of clothing, hair dripping wet; even our socks were wet inside our shoes. When I was a little girl, that was what I always wished I could do during a storm–stay out in it and get good and drenched. Mama was right to bring us all in–we were children afterall, but I have to say that as an adult it was wonderful to be out on that walk getting a good drenching, holding hands with my husband and walking along pretty much as normal despite the heavy storm.
Back at home we changed into dry clothes and snuggled into warm positions in the living room to enjoy a quiet evening with Blu and each other as we waited for the power to come back on.
Power was restored just before we were ready to turn in for bed.
All in all, it had been a most perfect day.
I hope yours was too.
And by the way, I wanted to say how much I have appreciated the interest many of you have shown in my paintings and Thistleonians. The auctions have been going well, and it is exciting to be shipping my creations off to some of my wonderful readers and friends. I almost get the sense of being out there with some of you now, because these treasured things I have created as an artist are now in your homes.
I only have time for a quick post today to let my knitting readers know I have posted the free pattern for the Spring Time Dishcloth in twisted purl stitch on the I Live on a Farm website. (I hope you will check out my full line of patterns. You will find great ideas for knitted gifts such as Christmas Stockings, gift bags, hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, and more.)
Have a beautiful day,