My very favorite days are ones in which we rise early, before the sun, and head out in the early morning twilight. Darkness covers the ground, but the sky holds the promise of the rising sun. In the Eastern sky, Venus shines down upon us; the stars that had kept her nighttime company fade away. It's windy and chilly, but not yet bitter cold. Mornings like this are invigorating... the perfect start to the day.
We walk the horses up the the upper pastures across soft, rain-soaked ground as the sun paints the morning clouds,
and set about tending to the rest of the animals and the barn chores. I can't help but think that the animals must also have an appreciation for the rising sun - knowing that with it comes warmth and light.
After the work is done, we head back to the house. Passing by the pig yard I am aware of the sheep bleating their complaints about something.
It's obvious what has them so upset. There, in their yard are two wayward donkeys - two invaders bent on consuming the spoils of their peaceful pillage. How they manage to eat hay through the grazing muzzles is beyond me, but the donkeys linger there for a while, so they must be somewhat successful.
Eventually, they tire of this and move back to the open pasture beyond the pig yard. The sheep breathe a sigh of relief and peace is once again restored.
I had a little time between chores and leaving to babysit baby Eli, so I headed to Maven Haven for a little quiet time.
I light a fire in the stove to chase the cold out of the shed.
Oil lamps burn not so much for light, but for the cozy ambience that they impart.
and a hot, steamy cup of tea is ready.
I sit here, with my knitting in my hands...
and my dogs at my feet (except Sammie who has chosen to go adventuring in the woods with Jack).
For the hour and a half that I sit here knitting, I am completely at peace and thoroughly contented. Life is slower and quieter these days. We stay home most all of the time, unless the kids need us for something. There was a day when this kind of life might have given me cabin fever, but now I reflect and wonder what it was, beyond my perfect world here on the farm, that held such allure. While it is true, I miss our family and friends... there is a gentle, tranquil rhythm to my days that feeds my soul.
I have found that these small acts of self-care and the curation of cozy corners add to my sense of well-being during these days that can leave one feeling fearful or uneasy. Something as simple as lighting a candle helps to create a cozy atmosphere. And certainly, working with one's hands brings a feeling of satisfaction. And though I often multi-task by listening to audio books or podcasts, sometimes it is perfect to just sit in silence. It is important to be mindful during these silent moments... to stay present in the moment allowing for only the flow of positive energy and thoughts. Concentrating on my senses helps to shut down my thoughts. And so I hear the crackle of the fire and the "caw" of a crow in the woods outside. I feel the heat of the fire on my cheeks. I smell the delicate spices in my cup of tea, and watch my dogs as they sleep peacefully at my feet.
Time passes. Rows are knit. Tea is sipped.
This little world, right here, is perfectly as it should be. The rest of the world.... so many miles away.
It is true that happiness is not something to be sought... it is found deep within!
Have a happy day!