There was still the barn to muck, but something made me stop. I stood in the barnyard to see what I could see.
Fate, uncharacteristically, stood beside me waiting.
The sheep and donkeys had settled into eating. I gave them the last bale of last year’s leftover hay yesterday morning. This year’s hay, fresh from the field just a few months ago, keeps them from moving from feeder to feeder looking for something more tasty.
I gazed past the feeder into the marsh.
The thin red branches of the bushes that grow highlight the browns and grays. To the left, the farmer’s cover crop is finally dulling. No longer spring green as it had been until a few days ago. After yesterday’s snow, the corn field is mostly mud polka dotted with cut corn stalks. While on the hill across the road I imagine I can hear the rustling of the dry still standing corn, so much louder than its soft sandy color.
The clouds are pale bluish-gray and one is disguised as a mountain. If I didn’t know my neighbors so well, I’d think there were more of them and that they were higher than they really are.
Then I see it out of the corner of my eye.
My gaze is brought home by a single falling snowflake. They come so slowly and with so much space between them, I begin to count them. One tickles my nose and when I blink there are suddenly too many to keep track of.
In moments the wind is pulling the white specks on an angle and when I finally go into the barn to muck it out, I can hear the snow hit the metal roof.
Fate circles the sheep and I think how lucky I am that I saw the snow begin to fall.