I’m like the sheep I thought as I watched them from the other side of the fence. They stood broadside to the morning sun, their wool gathering warmth, dreamily chewing their cud.
I sat on the wooden rocker under the apple tree, facing the sun, a hot cup of tea cradled in my gloved hands. Frost turned to rainbow sparkles on the tall marsh grasses. And though there was no breeze, the windchime that Ed Gulley made some years before he died, tinkled lightly.
“Morning Ed,” I said out loud.
Normally I wouldn’t be up this early on a Sunday. I’d feed the animals then go back to bed. But Jon was at the gym and being in bed without him isn’t as appealing.
The mix of cold air and sunshine pulled at me. I wanted to be in it, to start my day with a clear and quiet mind.
As I looked at the mountains in the distance I thought of how late yesterday afternoon I happened to be out just as the sun was dropping behind the hill. It lit up the treetops and gave contour to the mountains.
It looks like a painting, I thought at the time, like the soft background of a DaVinci painting. And as soon as I thought that, I couldn’t see it anymore. I could only perceive it as something I had seen before.
So I told myself to look at the sunlight on the mountains as if I were seeing it for the first time. And although I could not erase the imprint in my mind, I was able to at least make a comparison.
The thing I noticed was that even if I still saw it as a painting, it was different from a painting in that it was constantly changing. In the most subtle ways, nothing stayed the same from one moment to the next. Even if it were just the sound of a car driving by.
This also gave context to what I was looking at, making myself a part of it instead of just an observer.
I drank my tea slowly and eventually turned my attention from the mountains back to the barnyard.
Issachar stood too close to the donkey feeder. Fanny ate with her ears back and suddenly, chased Issachar away. The donkeys aren’t generous when it comes to hay. Liam peeked his head out of the pole barn and Kim nibbled hay off his back. Merricat looked at me from behind the apple tree.
I’m sure she was hoping for more grain.