The clock read 5:55 - the latest time until which my internal clock allows me to sleep. On this particular morning, unlike most, I wanted desperately to roll back over and go back to sleep. However, that idea is a luxury not afforded to those of us upon whom so many souls depend for their nourishment and care.
I took a deep breath, and hopped out of bed - ready to face another day but thinking back to the old days, when I was up before the sun getting ready to work either at the hospital or the Orthopedic office. In those days, I dreamed about retirement and all of those mornings that I would be able to sleep as long as I wished.
Chuckling to myself, I pulled on my jeans. "Sleeping in" was never in the cards - and is certainly not a sustainable retirement plan, given my current lifestyle. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. "Au contrare" - I wouldn't do life any other way. Like our rescue dogs, I am living my best life. And part of that best life is greeting the day as early as possible.
As the sun begins to rise above the hills to the East, and the birds are welcoming the day with song, and a cool breeze rustles through the woods, I am grateful to be awake and alive to experience every tiny moment at this magical time of day. On this particular day, I listen to the peace and tranquility that accompanies the faint chorus of birdsong and I am immediately aware that....
"They have gone."
Yes, the ratchety, scritchity, deafening, mating call of the Brood X Cicada is rapidly diminishing. Just a few scritchity- scratchity choristers remain... humming the refrains of their somber funeral march. I will forever notice and be grateful for the peace that morning is capable of bringing.
As I approach the barn, the morning welcoming party is waiting to issue its greeting, ushering me into the recesses of the barn in hopes of breakfast.
The kitties must wait just a little.
The first order of business is to dress the horses in their fly masks, so that they can enjoy the coolness of the morning - before the heat and flies make grazing less than pleasant.
Next, the routine repeats with the donkeys.
Next, the ducks are given their freedom, and they run/flap off into the corners of the farm in search of tasty treats,
that is, of course, after they have had a bath.
Feeders are re-filled, waterers are cleaned and filled, manure is picked up, plants are watered and everything is organized for the day ahead. It's an easy routine and with two of us working together, it is no big investment in time. It is no burden, but it is a commitment... and one we've never regretted making.
In the chicken yard, we come across this fellow...
After barn chores are finished, I set off to pick black raspberries at the edge of our woods. A half hour later, I have two more quarts ready for the freezer. Oh the jam we are going to enjoy this winter....
After the business of last week, cooking and preparing for our big picnic, I welcome a day with no major tasks to accomplish. It seems these days are few and far between. Today, I decided, is a day that I am going to concentrate on slowing down. The house is clean, the laundry is finished, and there's a refrigerator stocked with leftovers. Today is a day for play! And so, I head to Maven Haven to just enjoy a little "me" time.
I've been working on a sweater, so I settle down in my chair and begin knitting. No longer am I wishing I was still in bed. The tasks of the morning are complete and I am happy to have a little down time. I am sure there are things that I could be doing in the garden, but that can wait a little. Right now it's time to re-fill my own coffers, recharge my batteries, and just enjoy my happy space.
I sit there, in the cool, and listen to the birds as my fingers knit away.
There's no doubt about it... it's the simple things that bring the most joy. It occurs to me - there is no other place I would rather be in this particular moment, than just where I am. My heart reads like the wall of a t-shirt shop : "There's no place like home." "Life is good."
And the morning glories are right... morning IS glorious!