I love a piping hot bowl of oatmeal especially on a freezing morning like this one. I take mine with about a quarter stick of butter, some honey and a dribble or two of half and half, more preferably goat milk when the girls are fresh. Two poached eggs always served with this breakfast, keeps the hunger from coming too soon. I also love coming in after morning chores fingers stiff and cold in spite of gloved hands warming up next to a blazing fire. And while I’m talking about morning chores I love the quiet witness to the sunrise, which this morning happened to be spectacular! Sometimes I think the sun bears witness to us as much as we do to it and that would make sense considering our regularity toward each other. I think its as glad to see me as I am to see it. Sometimes and especially over the last few weeks it’s been cloudy but regardless I know what lies behind the clouds and so do the animals I’ll be serving breakfast to and that too, I love.
And while I’m talking about things I love; I love devouring a good book, fiction or non, I’ll eat it up! It’s the only time of the year I can lay in bed for as long as I wish and dive in. And walks, I love walks! I’m profoundly blessed with miles of trails just outside my doorstep. Quiet crisp winter walks, four big white dogs leading the way and clearing out any dangers that may await me. Also I love those dogs, My LSG’s livestock guardians, taking care of the goats and the chickens and the round heads of the farm. But while I’m talking about dogs there are three other dogs that don’t necessarily take care of anything or serve any great purpose other than dedicated companionship. I love cuddles on cold winter nights.
And as I’ve mentioned round heads I love being married to one. Up until two years ago I’ve rejoiced and celebrated countless other marriages and catered a fair share of them too, always to know that this was a gift and a privilege that would be withheld from me for reasons I accepted but could not understand. I learned to be happy for others, but always felt not quite equal and this difference separated us deeply, and never did most even give it a second thought. I convinced myself it didn’t matter, my relationship was solid in love! it didn’t require the blessing of law and a community I didn't even know. But I was wrong it did matter, more than I could have ever imagined. I treat my vows and my marriage like the most precious thing on this earth.
I love Tea, after breakfast sitting in silence just drinking tea. Slowly. I consider each step from bringing the water up to temp, to scooping the leaves, steeping and finally pouring and drinking a contemplative practice. Sometimes I’m on a cushion or sitting in a chair looking out to the goat pasture and pond. Tea is wonderful and I love it! I love my friends, once strangers now indispensable. Our long talks on the phone, laughing, complaining, gossiping and making plans that will change the world (for the better)! And I love my small but lovely family. Distance does make the heart grow fonder and I miss them. I love the sound ducks make as they fly off of the pond as I walk by and I love watching how still the Grey Heron stands ready at the edge.
When I wake in the wee hours I love the monkey like screams of the barred owls and the shrill calls of the coyote packs running through the pastures, woods and fields when the goats and chickens are safe in their barns. I love vegetables! from seed to plate. I love growing them, taking care of them and then eating them or preparing them for others. No greater gift I can give than to feed someone and I love feeding people. I love the sound of my sharp hoe as it slices through weeds and grass. I love the sight of a thriving garden. I spend a lot of time by myself, sometimes I get lonely, but I love solitude.
There are so many things to love! When I first embarked on this journey 11 years ago I gave up a lot of what I would call creature comforts. I never would have imagined missing a bathtub so much! or living in a house that was bug and dirt free, or having coffee shops and antique stores just blocks away. But in leaving that life behind I realize that we never seem to know what we really have until it’s gone. Now, all the things I’ve come to love so completely are so simple and never does a day go by when I take for granted the things I have today, no matter how less valuable they might have seemed in years past. The experiences, the things I see and witness, the milestones, all accepted with humble gratitude.
If I were to go back to my old life in a big city I think my heart would be broken and my soul would ache. I would have a big bathtub and have nicer clothes and a steady job with a steady pay check, I wouldn’t count my jar of change in January to buy a few staples, (I bought flour with dimes once) And I’d have a TV and broadband. I wouldn’t have lists that included; 'cut fire wood' or 'fix fence'. I’d be protected always from the elements, except when I decided to go skiing or sun bathing.
I would be miserable.
I love with all of my heart my life, and as long as I have the privilege to live it I’ll treat it like the most precious thing on this earth.