Sadly, I don't think many of us do and I'm not excepting myself. For in the hustle and bustle of busy schedules and time limits we seem to wake up late, prepare for work quickly and hurry out, oblivious to the joys of morning around us. So, I thought on this beautiful morning I'd share what I see on a beautiful day as I go about taking care of morning chores on a rural homestead in my retirement years. And to think about all those years where I missed the obvious that I now see, I now realize how much I missed and how rich it really is.
Now I arise early each day, serving as the "house husband" for my still working wife. I start the coffee and then walk outside to take a look at the world around me. The sky is dark but I watch a sinking full moon to the west, then turn to watch the sky in the east begin its change from dark to gray. I go back inside th serve the love of my life her morning coffee and prepare her lunch to carry to work, then go outside again to watch our assortment of animals. The two Great Pyrenees are still sleeping with one eye open, one at the front gate and the other near the front porch. To my right and across the fence in the pasture stands our small herd of horses, already by the gate awaiting entry into the barn for breakfast. I prepare their grain and put it in their individual stall buckets, then come out to see my wife off to work. By now the eastern sky is coming to life as the sun begins to break the horizon at ground level, still hidden from me by the large stand of pines. But the light begins to get brighter and change quickly from purple to pink to pale yellow.
With the added light I now see the barn cats, some coming down from their sleeping spot in the barn rafters, others coming out of whatever hiding place they slept in, one presenting me with a dead mouse at my feet. These great little hunters are the best in pest control if you have a horse barn where the big fellows routinely spill their grain.
And now the big dogs rise from their sleep, yawning and coming into the barn, knowing they'll be fed as well. So, the horses enter their stalls to eat, the big dogs get their breakfast in the tack room and the barn cats are fed in bowls up on a ledge behind the feed bin. And I stop to drink my coffee and look about, then it's off to the coops to feed the chickens and let the free rangers out for the day. And lastly, I feed the koi in the fish pond and am amazed the way the colorful fish froth up the water under the waterfall like piranha on a feeding frenzy.
Finally, I have time to really look at the rest of nature around me. Turkeys, led by two big toms showing their plumes, work across the pasture with little ones in tow. They do a wonderful job of eliminating horse apple piles by picking out the horse grain remnants. And two big does with their little ones walk across the pasture as well. They know they have safe passage around and, of course, the Papa eagle is flying high above on a training mission with Junior who just began to fly a day or two earlier.
The surrounding pines trees make the woodlands look surreal in the shadows before the sunshine fully breaks through, and the green grass under the beautiful blue skies with fast moving, fluffy clouds is breathtaking. And you might even call it another type of Groundhog Day, for my mornings are constant as described above, except for the changes in weather. But through it all I am continually amazed. Amazed at the beauty, complexity and majesty of all things on this earth that were given to us by a most gracious and benevolent God.
For those of you who don't believe that there is a living God, you obviously can't live in a place like mine, for He is ever present in whatever I do and wherever I go. I am highly blessed for that and I thank Him every day. Life is for the living. What better way to celebrate it than to witness every day all of the living things that surround me.