Sadie and I stayed up a little later than we wanted to going over the Verizon and the Direct TV bill. It was a little depressing, we called it quits without really deciding anything and I’m all ready for bed. I was just about to turn off the lamp when little white kitty jumped up on my bed. She crawled on my chest, purring, and kept head-butting me in the chin.
Over and over she kept butting my chin, as if she was saying “stop worrying about bills, pay attention to me, I’m cute. Stop worrying.” I started scratching her ears and petting her from head to tail, she eventually started to settle down and start kneading on my hair. Just like her mama.
I know cats can’t talk, but that’s the message I was getting. At least, it was a message I needed to get. I love all our critters, the hairy, slobbery, squawking and squealing ones. From Tug to my tiniest pullet, I wouldn’t trade a single one. They are what makes this life so special. What makes me occasionally jump out of bed in the mornings. I say occasionally because the majority of the time, it’s for coffee. And then to see the animals.
Lately I’ve been spending the evenings in the garden, partially to avoid the heat, and partially because I love watching how long it takes for the sun to completely disappear. The shadows get longer, and the mountain ridge shines in gold. Each leaf framed in an orange glow that slowly slips into evening. The sky goes from red, to pink, to soft purples, then eventually everything melts into that velvety dark blue, flecked with silvery stars.
I like listening to the birds get quiet while the crickets awaken. The lightning bugs come out, one by one, dancing above the fields and through the trees. It feels a bit like a fairy tale, with dirt under my nails and the smell of the tomatoes in the air. It’s absolutely intoxicating. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked down from the chicken coop, or crossed the street to go check the horses, I’ll get this feeling in my chest when I think I live here.
There are days when I can’t get enough of it. When I watch the sun disappear, then I want to pull it back up – not all the way, just until about 7:30pm, so I can experience it again. The slowing down, the calm, the quiet of the frogs and the crickets singing everything to sleep.
The other day I was in the barn lot moving hay, all sweaty and busy, I came out of the barn for some reason and something caught my eye – the sun was setting and sending golden beams out through the clouds. I shut the gate and hopped on the ATV, driving across the road to take it all in. Jimmy had finished raking hay that day, some of the round bales were sitting in the field, but most of it was lying in rows, waiting to be baled. The smell was almost overwhelming, strong like fresh cut grass, but sweet like hay, the best combination of both.
I sat right down and watched the sun set over the river, in it’s golds and bright pinks and deep blues. It was absolutely stunning. And I made a mental note to make time to do that more often, to stop and look up, and watch what’s happening.
White kitty just curled up on my leg, I think she’s hinting that she’s ready for sleep. Zoe’s stretched out under my bed, one of her favorite places, and I just heard her give one of those deep sighs. It’s time for bed. But I might just creep outside, one last time, to see the lightning bugs and feel the cool night air. To smell the tomatoes and feel the soft tilled garden dirt beneath my hands and feet.