It's a calm relaxing morning. The birds are singing and busily building their nests. The bees are buzzing around the flowers and ducks are swimming in the pond.
The only sounds that can be heard are those of nature with a distant sound of a train miles away. It is idyllic, picaresque, and peaceful. As I walk out to the barn to do the milking I can't help but smile with pleasure and joy at my surroundings. I lean my head against Silver Dolls side and listen to her groans of pleasure as she munches on her grain and the milk flows into the bucket. Gone are the thoughts of cold and winter, the stifling closeness of being housebound due to the cold and the constant brownness of a lifeless landscape. For now the land has come alive and my joy grows. I will not think about fall only a few months away or winter which will come again but will rather enjoy each moment of this wonderful, warm and lively time of year.
How different and yet how much the same in many ways my life is to those of my ancestors. I have many conveniences they did not and yet still struggle with many of the things they did. I feel a kinship with them when it comes to many joys and trials, but know my life is much less fraught with peril and hardship. Although this life is at first glance idyllic there are trials one can not know about until you are immersed in it. Last week I lifted something wrong and put my hip out of place. When I was younger it wasn't much of an issue. It would pop back into place quickly or if it didn't I would stop by the chiropractors on my way home from work. Now that I am older it doesn't seem to go back into place easily anymore. So for the last week I have been hobbling around and not able to lift as much as usual. How did this happen? Why is my body betraying me? I'm not old by any means, just older, but still I am obviously not at the peak of my health and the lazy winter has left me much weaker than normal. I'll be fine, if it doesn't go back in soon I will make the drive to town. My ancestors didn't have the option of chiropractors or even doctors many times but had to make do as best they could. How lucky I am to live in this age and yet I still long for what I see as a simpler time and way of life.
At the same time however, as much as I love this land (especially this time of year) I am tied to it. I can not leave for more than a few hours at a time. My schedule is set in stone and while it has a small bit of flexibility it can not change. The milking must be done at the right times, the baby goats must be fed and soon the cheeping of chicks will be heard and they must be constantly monitored. The land while giving me pleasure and sustenance holds me in its unshakable grip for if I am to live here and homestead the land I am as bound to it. This is neither good nor bad but a fact of life. If I had many sons and daughters as in the olden days I would perchance have more flexibility but I don't live back then and if I did, where would I go?
My revere was interrupted today by a wonderful neighbor who had arrived to take his tractor and tiller back. Upon seeing my garden plot he decided it needed at least one more tilling. So, he took about an hour out of his day and tilled it twice for me. Good neighbors are completely indispensable. I will take it easy today and rest my troubled hip while enjoying the beautiful day.
Maybe if I am lucky the hummingbirds will arrive to partake of my new feeder.