I spent fifteen minutes looking for the dog’s poop today and couldn’t find it. My hands were full at the time he decided to “go” so I marked the spot with my eyes, but when I got back it seemed to have disappeared. Until we get some fresh snow, everything blends in with the brown grass and old fallen leaves. My friend is right, there really should be some kind of orange flags to drop beside the pile, maybe something biodegradable that dispenses from the side of the dog’s leg every time he squats.
I’m not good at getting moving in the morning but I do it. Everyone is asking me for something. Everyone needs something. The dog whines, the kids begin their wheedling to bend rules and to get out of chores and school. The littlest squishes next to me on the couch jostling my elbow as I try to drink coffee while it’s still hot. I’m not complaining – I wouldn’t really have it any other way.
I feed the dog, see the kids well started on breakfast, fill up the chicken water, grab the compost and odd bits for the chickens and head outside. And everything is different. No matter the weather, and as hard as it is to make myself leave the house, being outside, especially with a bit of work to do, is awesome.
It is so very different from housework. Yes, there is a feeling of calm and restfulness after setting the house to rights, and yes, there is a way to meditate and think while cleaning, especially if I get to be alone while I do it, but the work itself feels to me stuffy and confining and rushed.
But outside, I take my time. I feel happy and quiet even when the kids are running and hollering all around me, even when there are a hundred things to do and I’m not sure where to begin. I don’t even yet have “chores” to do. Just let out and feed the chickens, give the barn cats a bit to eat, walk and clean up after the dog, maybe tidy up things out of place. During the summer there was also hanging the wash and weeding and breaking sod. And I walk and I look and I breathe.
I wasn’t born to this life but I think maybe I was born for it. My lack of knowledge hinders me, and I’m not so young as I used to be, but I still have these thick, sturdy legs and a will to work. I look forward to adding to my work – how weird is that?