We own 15 acres of land here – a gift we have been given the honor of caring for. Most of that land is pasture, long opened up from the native oaks, cedars, and poplars that once covered it. The hillsides are etched with the tree lines that have remained with fences or spring heads.
Yesterday, we walked down to one spring and greeted our neighbor’s cows – two gals round with babies, who stared at us, flared their quarter-size nostrils, and waddled on. Philip had found a huge cedar tree just above the spring – 150-200 years old and wide around as two of us hugging it.
One of the reasons I love that man is that he takes such deep joy in such simple things.
We and our fathers gazed at that lovely beauty, and I wondered whose hands had also slid on that bark – farmers, enslaved people, tired women who wandered out from the house on a cool winter afternoon for just a few minutes of the kind of break that only crisp air can bring?
Beyond the cedar, the bright, crimson droplets of barberry dangled – an invasive species Dad tells me, and yet, it is beautiful – all that color against the beiges and grays of winter.
We spend more time walking the land – trying to figure out just where our property stops, marveling in the abundance of firewood we can gather, breathing.
Later, we we all stand in the hay field on the other side of the house – pink and orange flags marking the footprint of what will be our barn – I am caught breathless by the great gift that it is to have found this place, to have come to it with a man who dreams just as big as I do, to have parents who help and marvel and celebrate with us.
Olive and Acorn, the dwarf goats, jumped up into the swing set and watched – cuds dancing the whole time. And Bliss, our biggest, goaty gal, danced, her cashmere coat warm, her feet light – bucking and leaping as if to say, Isn’t this all just amazing – this life? All this joy in so much that is simple.
Stay tuned for more details about the barn and for ways you can help us “raise” it. Plus, we have some writing retreats coming up in May and July, so check out the schedule here.