I went to a church wedding yesterday. Another one of my “little” cousins got married in a big Catholic church. I felt the way I always feel when I’m in a church – a bit confined. To me (and I’ll admit I’m not exactly religious) God isn’t found in a great big building with a priest telling you when to sit or when to stand or what to say after him – God is found in the small places and quiet moments. I would rather curl up in my wicker rocker on the front porch of the farmhouse with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and watch everything that is the farm on a summer day.
There are yellow finches lined up in various groups all along the telephone wires that dip low as they travel through the midsection of the front field. By nine these bright yellow dots will be replaced by sparrows or red-winged black birds. When it rains the sparrows like to sit along the wire and feel the drops of water roll down their backs.
Over the years a family of robins have pried away a piece of the siding along the porch’s roof-line. Every year they come back to make their next and raise their babies and head off to somewhere else when all their work is done. But their work isn’t complete yet. I just saw one fly back and squeeze through the hole with some breakfast.
I can hear my brother taking a break from morning chores. He’s sitting on the steps that lead up to the milk house and is playing with the puppy. In a few minutes his voice will carry through the sunshine and breeze as he herds the cows out of the barn and up the hill to an awaiting pasture for the day. Cows are by nature a curious sort with a keen instinct for the newest, tastiest weeds wherever they may roam. This trait runs counter to pretty much any task at hand. The other night I heard my brother yell “C’mon! Why is this so difficult? You come up and down the same path twice a day!” I went around the house and found half of the cows stopped along the back path munching on the hedgerows.
Life on the farm isn’t easy – my family fights battles throughout the day that I am lucky enough not to have to face like broken equipment, curious cows, looming grain bills and the marathon that is planting, haying and all that comes with summer. But, life on the farm is beautiful and wonderous. And when you stop at the top of the hill and the cows are secure in the pasture or you take a left out of the barn and stroll around the equipment shed or you sit on the steps of the milk house for a moment and look out to see and feel and experience the moment…well, that fills your soul with grace.