This week has felt almost like autumn in Oklahoma,
which has been more than a welcome meteorological change;
the cooler temps have refreshed our minds and bodies,
inspiring all kinds of productivity and joy-grabbing.
I am so happy share a handful of stories
from our week at the farm:
from our week at the farm:
On Tuesday, after several days of partying, laughing, making memories, and indulging in good food and great company, Handsome and I returned to our weekday routines. I spread clean, smooth sheets on our bed, straightened up the outdoors, scrubbed the kitchen, and opened the windows while doing housework. This last detail is powerful. Open windows might mean a little bit more dust flying around, but it also means that we trade stale summer-conditioned air for mother nature's freshest breath. And the quiet that comes from the absence of an air conditioner that has been running almost non-stop all summer, that is golden. I could actually hear birds again, and seeing the curtains billow inward from the cool breeze is so pretty.
Cleaning the rooms one by one, burning a soy candle gifted to me by the M Half, and gradually refilling our bathroom cabinets with clean, fluffy towels, these are simple, pure pleasures. It felt as good and healthy as removing three days' worth of waterproof mascara and exfoliating my face. The only consolation to seeing your house emptied out and quiet after that much fun is seeing it sparkling clean the next day.
On Wednesday, I was very blessed to spend a few hours with my firstborn, my baby, my distant daughter who lives in my heart every hour of every day. We shared a late breakfast, talked about a thousand wonderful things, laughed, and shopped.
While looking at different running shoes (she is a cross-country runner, I am so proud) I noticed that she still ties her laces the same way she did in Kindergarten. Her hands are grown now, leaner and stronger, and now her wrists are lined with dozens of friendship bracelets. But seeing those familiar movements in that familiar flesh almost brought me to tears in the runners' shop.
Thursday was her birthday. Sweet Sixteen. There are almost no words for this, but of course there really are always words. I can say that I always expected this to be a terribly painful time, especially considering the circumstances in which we now find our family, but mercifully the occasion turned out to be a lighthearted one. I am so happy for her for a million solid reasons, and I still feel so incredibly lucky to have given birth to this beautiful creature.
Chanta, the same horse who awakened me from last week's sunny nap with his foot nuzzling, switched things up by falling asleep on my shoulder last night. I had been brushing his wild blonde mane and whispering to him, telling him about Einstein wisdom and Pampered Chef parties, when he stepped in really close to me, exhaled a big, sweet breath of air, and closed his sleepy eyes. His giant head just fell on my left shoulder, so I did my best to hold it with both arms. His ears were loose, and I could see from my position at his driver's side that his rear ankle was cocked up, both sure signs of relaxation. As if the snoring horse wasn't clue enough.
It was blissful. We stood together like that for several minutes, and I had the sensation of having lulled a baby to sleep and not wanting to wake it. So I continued in the Einstein/Chef speech, mixed in some singing, and just inhaled that wonderful, grassy, warm horse fragrance.
When the spell finally broke and he stepped back to look at me, I figured our special time would be over with. But wherever I tried to walk Chanta would criss-cross my path and intercept me. He's not small. And he can get kind of bossy, so I suffered through his affection and spent probably half an hour just nuzzling
The extra joy here is that the quiet peacefulness attracted Daphne, our moody mare. She became either jealous or just plain curious and ended up accepting some attention herself, which is unusual when other horses are nearby. It was a wonderful string of moments in the middle field.
I caught a nasty cold and was down and out for a few days this week, running a low fever, etc, and Handsome took really good care of me. He grained and hayed the animals on my worst day, did the weekly grocery shopping after a long day at the office, and brought me comforting things to eat. He constantly made sure I was resting. It bored me almost to tears to sit still that long, but thanks to his TLC I am feeling healthy and energetic, sans medicine, just in time for another fun weekend!
Life is so good.
It is unpredictable and mysterious
and sometimes painful,
but still so brimming with good,
healthy, nourishing joy.
Very happy weekend to everyone!