Thursday, December 17, 2009

dark mornings

I woke up to the sound of wind and coyotes. I pulled the covers up over my head and reached under the pillow for the knit hat and wool socks I put on before even getting out of bed. Jazz is aside me, and always seems bigger in the morning dark. I feel his fur and hear him sigh and feel warmer so I get up. I put on a the percolator, and the red kettle for my oatmeal, and turn on the radio to hear the news. Congress just passed the jobs bill. The dogs are both up now. I leash them and we go outside.

It's cold. Really, really cold. I'm wearing layers of wool, canvas, and an old fur musher's hat. Jazz and Annie pee quick then rush back inside for round two of their morning nap. I too go inside to fill up the chicken's water font I'd brought in to defrost late last night. When I go back outside it feels colder. I trudge through the icy slick to the coop. My flashlight scans the snow around the hen house for coyote prints. I'm relieved to see none. The birds their feed and water, and I return to the porch for a flake of hay.

I'm walking back to the cabin and see the porch light and stop to look. I realize how comforting this place is and for a moment feel warm. My little rented house is like a hot coal dropped in the snow. What a blessing to know I'll be back inside soon. I grab an armful of hay and head back out into the dark, but do so knowing breakfast and coffee are mine soon. I then realize another thing: I can't wait for the solstice. Dark mornings are grand in their own way, but I find mysself whispering Goethe's famous last words as I walk to my sheep...

"More Light."


Blogger Spring Lake Farm said...

Happy Hot Coffee Morning!

December 17, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Gotta love those dogs - Snowy did the exact same thing this morning. Run out, pee, ran back in. Normanlly she loves the cold but this morning... just TOO cold.
Have a good day!

December 17, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Abi said...

we laid the same exact tracks this morning. Cool.

December 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Fallen Oak said...

The whisspering shiver- got the coyote just the other side of posted sign saying: "I am cold and hungry!" Or was it fox bitten by the scorpion? Frogs for unemployment armies. The fortune of this present age:^)

December 17, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

It was very dark and cold this morning. When it gets this cold, I take my hens into the garage, their coop is not meant for this kind of weather. I wake them up and they are not too pleased with me at six am. (neither is my son!) I understand exactly where you are coming from! Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of the morning!

December 17, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Every one I know thinks I'm off my rocker, but this is what I'm dreaming of. Oh, to be back in the land of snow with some livestock. Enjoy those beautiful mornings, Jenna!

December 17, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

There is nothing more beautiful than the light this time of year, all milky and blue and pink and solsticey. Lovely that you're out in it doing what you love with creatures you love!

December 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Bear said...

that is such a wonderful snippid of life. it is great to have animals and true nature that is that close.

December 17, 2009 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Rosanne said...

I found your book at B&N about a month ago, bought it and read it within two weeks. For me to get through a book that fast this time of year says a LOT because, you see, I am a high school art and photography teacher, who also does some professional photography business on the side, I am a wife and mother of four (one grown and out on his own, the other all teens, one in her first year of college) -- so, to say the least, I am busy. But my husband is an engineer who is also a potter on the side, and longs to be a full-time potter, and I long to stay home and tend my home and make a successful garden that actually feeds my family, make bread, sew quilts, do freelance graphics and photography from my home office, etc. etc. We long to find a place with an acre or more, build a modest, eco-friendly home and studio, and go to work! Your book, and your blog, which I check at least every other day, have me wondering if we could actually make a go of this.
I'm sitting here in my quiet classroom this morning, while semester exams are going on elsewhere in the building (the nice thing about being an art teacher is not having to give exams :o), listening to Jerry Read Smith play Christmas on his hammered dulcimer, reading about your morning chores, and dreaming of a similar day for myself. I have so much more I could tell you about my story, but this has already gone on too long. I know that if we met we could sit down and have a long delightful conversation about lots and lots of things we have and love in common. You're story has delighted me and inspired me, and today I just wanted to let you know that. Oh, and yeah, I can relate to Goethe, too. Cheers!

December 18, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

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