Weekday mornings are filled with the usual hustle and bustle of getting kids up and ready, clothes changed and teeth brushed, lunches made. Mark has been subbing a lot, so he's been so helpful with the kids, and I so appreciate it. I'm not really a morning person, you know. Mark has the boys off to school before I'm coherent - they come in to get sleepy hugs and kisses and wishes for a good day. I crawl out of my cozy bed, where I'm typically surrounded by at least one cat and a dog (even though the dog knows she shouldn't be on the bed, but sneaks up while daddy is getting ready). The house is still cold, because we're trying to hold out on turning on the heat until it is absolutely necessary. There's lots of hoodie wearing and snuggling under blankets going on around here.
Mark and I steal some hurried moments to figure out our plan for the day and what still needs to be done. Again, with some hugs and kisses, and he's off to work. Which just leaves me and Cora to talk about her day ahead and how things are going in her world. We get her bundled up and she grabs her lunch and backpack and we head down to the end of our driveway, where the bus will soon pick her up. Our walk down the driveway consists of us listening to the sounds around us, stopping to give Ollie, our outside dog, a pat on the head...we're usually followed down the drive by Captain's two remaining outside kitties (Runt and Lockhart). Sometimes we get a glimpse of deer in the field behind us, or across the street. We're always greeted by beautiful sunrises over the farmer's field. The bus screeches to a halt and picks up my girl and we sign "I love you" to each other as the bus drives off.
Then, before I begin my work day, I have a moment to myself. I walk back down the driveway to the barn. Mark has already done the morning feeding, so I just need to let them out of their pens. There is a pattern to this even...the alpacas are first, the are coaxed from their pen, first one, then the other and they gallop out to the pasture. Then the angoras...when they run out of their pen it reminds me of some wacky circus act, their ears flopping to the side and a quickness in their step...each time it makes me laugh. Next are the dairy goats, who sometimes need a push to go out, they want to make sure that they aren't going to miss something happening in their pen. Finally, the sheep. Jester is always ready to go. By this time he's usually baaaaing, so the I don't forget to let him out. I let Steve decide if he wants to go out...some days, he stands toward the back of the pen and refuses to leave and other days, he's lined up right behind Jester and goes out to pasture.
On this cold, crisp morning, I follow my animals out to the pasture. I check in with them. Walking up to each one, give them a look over and a pat on the head. Jester makes his way to me and waits for his pat. He rubs his wooly body against my pant legs - I'm so honored the my animals love me as much as I love them. I love the silence of this moment. Broken only by the occasional vehicle driving by or the baa or maaa from a member of my flock. In these moments, life is good.