Friday, November 22, 2013

Early Morning Barn

I wrote this piece several years ago: Each morning, I rise early, so many obligations to be attended to - before even preparing for my work day.  I prepare formula for Honey and Angel, the two baby pygmy goats I am bottle feeding. They were orphaned at three days old, we lost their Momma to a bad heat wave.   With a pleasantly warm bottle in the crook of each arm my first steps outside into the new day take me through morning mists - the morning sky holds the suggestion of an orange sunrise.  Through my ancient choreworn sandals, my toes are drenched in morning dew…a very good start to my day.Though sleep still clings to me, the familiarity of routine carries the sleepwalker to the barn.  The Eastern and Western doors are wide open at this time of year, so it is like still being outside.  As the twins enjoy their breakfast, I watch the sunrise over the distant tree line through the open Eastern door. Barn swallows dart in and out of the open doorway - stitching flightpaths through the misty morning air. Their chirps blend with the bleats of the big goats who would love an unscheduled meal, and the drowsy grunts of a pig rousing from her slumber.  Rhythmic sounds from the nursing goats another layer of sound. The sweet smell of hay, and the earthy smell of manure greet me and it is not at all unpleasant. It smells like serenity. My vantage point to greet the dawning day is an upturned milk crate, where I sit holding goat bottles.  Barn cats swirl around my ankles, a feline interpretive dance troupe - awaiting the unlikely event… that one of the goats won’t finish her breakfast, thus blessing them with milky leftovers.  The earthy smell of manure mixes with the cool morning air and the sweet smell of hay to create the distinct aroma of “early morning barn.”  The clinking of the glass bottles breaks my reverie – the goat girls are all done, and the barn-dancers are out of luck.  They seem to sense this and wander away.   Fully awake and somehow refreshed, I make my way back through the dewy grass to prepare for my work day.  These two worlds - in such stark contrast - work seems mostly like I am playing a part - not written for me...
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*the last line - is particularly poignant for me today*

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