I head out to tuck the place in for the night.
I feed the dogs.
I feed the barn cats.
The horse whinnies, low but insistant that I not forget her feed.
I pour her grain into a bucket and scoot through the fence to nuzzle with her a few moments.
I ponder that she is now alone... lonely in a pasture... I run my hands down her flank.
I wish her goodnight.
I notice that the light is fading faster.
I hear the birds in the treeline along the woods...
their urgent calls to their mates to come to roost for the night is near.
I tend my own flock.
I fill the feeders and drag the hose and fill their waterer.
I pull them some grass and promise them pasture in the morning.
I think that I need to spend some time in their coop,
cleaning and making ready for the colder weather.
I close the tack room door that's been left ajar.
I check the broccoli in the garden, planted too late, really, but it will bear.
I notice the fig bush, bare in the twilight...
I think of it when it was a twig, an off-shoot of my grandmother's fig bush...
my grandmother who is no longer alive,
but who is connected to me in so many ways.
I notice the cherry trees which have survived a second summer...
from my husband's grandmother's home, after her death... a legacy that we hope will bear for years.
I close the gate to the garden.
I turn off the water at the spigot.
I'll coil the hose tomorrow.
I sit for a moment on a heavy stone wall and tie my boot.
I listen and I feel the fading warmth.
Just ahead lies days that are cold and wind that whips about the place.
I make a mental note to make a list of the winter jobs that need to get done before the cold arrives.
I head to the clothes line.
I fold the clothes that have waited patiently until last.
When did my son get legs this long?
How do I manage to hang out 7 socks?
I need to mend some things, remember to set aside time to do the mending.
I smell the sunshine on the clothing... on the bed linens.
I love the way it smells.
I walk back through the yard to the house, with the basket,
big dog pushing on my thigh with her full weight, racing off to chase a cat.
The moon has risen over the old, old trees. The dusk is thick around me.
Golden light pours from the windows in the old, old house.
Warmth within will welcome me.