(Apologies to Beethoven.)
Pete told me not too long ago, "Mom, this place brings you joy," and it made me stop and think. I'm sometimes overwhelmed with trying to keep up with maintenance of the grounds and buildings and can get a bit discouraged. Joy is defined as one step above happy and I think it also includes contentment, and I think Pete was absolutely right. Not every day is a double-rainbow day, but there are moments in nearly every day that I do realize are special.
Sweat dripping off my nose and eyelashes in the barn yesterday was not the most pleasant, but it struck me how lucky I am to have the trust of my animals and, at my age, to be able to continue this work, and to enjoy the company of creatures large and small. (No squirrels in the barn again, ta da!) Sometimes I think I've slipped a cog; milking is hard work and I never drink milk and use very little in cooking, but selling a gallon now and then gives me pocket change and, best of all, I love to see the chickens come running when I fill their bowl in the morning. I might complain about being tied here because of the goats, but my days would be empty without them. There are days when I drag my feet, but sitting next to one of the girls and hearing the ping of milk in the bucket is always satisfying.
There is a deep feeling of peace that comes from just sitting quietly on either end of the deck with Bess Anne by my feet as we look out at absolute beauty. In late afternoon, she and I went out on the front porch to try to catch any breeze that might come. I had the sprinkler going in the herb garden and it was spraying into the bird bath. It wasn't long before we were joined by a number of sparrows, a bluejay, and a red-headed woodpecker who all played in the shower and fluttered in the bath. It was nice to share the joy.
One of these days the weather will change and I'll get the yards and field mowed. Until then, there's no sense getting my britches in a bunch over something I have no control. Honeybees and bumblers are making the most of the dandelion-like flowers on the star thistle, so even that dadratted weed is serving a purpose. I saw the first train of little turkletts following their mama the other day when she brought them to the feeding station.
Pete was right, this place does bring me joy.