The waxing moon is overhead, thinly veiled with a sheer cover of clouds.
George gobbles quietly. Peepers chirrup loudly. Guineas settle in. A distant dog barks at the night. White and pink blossomed trees glow in the near dark. Even in the twilight, the willow tree by the pond looks like a young girl with tresses brushing the top of her shoulders, no longer the aged woman, thin and grey.
I am home.
Thank you so much for your concern, blog friends! I was in Texas, hunting for a new home, visiting schools, making decisions.
Thankfully many many friends made it possible for me to be away by taking care of kids and farm. It takes a pretty large village to care for five kids and a farm!
I am glad to be home. Glad to be with the kids. But it was an adventure realizing that as much as I am grieving the farm, I am also looking forward to beginning a new chapter in a region of the world that is so very dear to my heart. A region that has caused my soul to quicken since I was a little girl, tagging along with family as Mom went to paint and show her art in galleries in the mountains of Southwest Texas.
Just as the smell of the locust and the fescue stirs me, so does the creosote and dry air. The color of the golden grass and the bright green mesquite tree makes my heart sing just like our willow tree and the cherry blossoms.
It is hard to fathom the capacity of the human heart to feel so many different emotions at one time. Grief, sorrow, loss, pain, anticipation, hope, expectation, anxiety, thrill, peace, fear, joy.
While looking at properties I witnessed a tremendous wildfire. A couple of them, actually. They burned more than one hundred thousand acres. Mountains and plains were blackened. A dead horse lay near a fence. It couldn't escape the flames. Over 50 homes were burned.
Drought is hurting that part of the world. The fire was astronomical. Yet as I watched it burn, as men fought to prevent it from doing any more damage to human structures, I thought about the value of a wildfire for grasslands. The pronghorn antelope have been dying due to parasites getting out of control. A predator for the parasite? Natural wildfires that used to burn regularly before towns took over certain areas. The fires burn out invasives and brush, making more fertile soil for tall grasses.
The sight of thousands of acres of charred land is gruesome. But if it rains, within a year or two, the land will be lush with grasses. Even so, I can't imagine how hard it will be for those people who lost livestock and homes and fences. They will have to buy and feed hay for months.
So many things in life are hard and bring about change. Sometimes it isn't really pretty for awhile.
Imagine my delight when I realized that all the Sunday readings in the little church I visited were on the resurrection. Dried bones brought back to life. Lazarus raised from the dead.
I looked outside as I drove and recollected the scripture that describes beauty coming from the ashes.
Still need to finish things up around here to put the farm on the market. I am beginning to sell animals. A lady came over to buy one of Ophelia's adorable little lambs. A blog reader left a message about goats while I was gone. I promise I will call back! Lettuce is growing like crazy. I guess I had better thin some out. The day was lovely and as I hung sheets and towels on the clothesline, I thought of Wheeler and Ross and the other fellows who put that line up last spring.
Well, the air is now chilly and I am ready to run to bed. So glad to enjoy the deck with you all (or perhaps I should say Y'all!)