Finding July on the Farm
Finding July on the farm...
It's waking up to the sun each morning at 6 o'clock and sipping on hot coffee.
It's wandering outside before everyone wakes to let out the quacking ducks. Heading into the chicken coop to sleeping birds on the roost, rustling their feathers. Watching the roosters crow at each other until someone wins, testing out their adolescent, throaty calls. They topple over each other one by one through their tiny door out into the open air, flapping their wings with the freshness of a new day.
It's incessant begging of play outside, of drawing on the sidewalk with colorful chalks, of playing in the hose, of chasing kittens who would rather be sleeping. It's scraped knees and sunburns and finding all sorts of treasures hidden in the farthest reaches of the land; bones and skulls, butterflies and grasshoppers, seed pods and feathers.
It's early mornings and late evenings of work outdoors, afternoons of work inside. Hiding from the heat, thankful that it's pushing all of those plants to grow.
It's refilling the chickens' and ducks' water multiple times a day, filling it up with ice and keeping everyone well hydrated. Panicking that the chickens have disappeared and finding all 25 of them hiding under a bush somewhere around the farmhouse. Watching the ducks splash in their baby pool, trying desperately to dive down deep with no luck.
It's eating watermelon and sipping on iced lemonade or sun tea. It's picking herbs throughout the day for use around the house; in tea, in salad, in a salve; and hanging them to dry.
It's harvesting all you need for a fresh bowl of goodness; cucumbers, tender leaves and greens, summer squash, kohlrabi, radishes, tomatoes, dill, mint, peas, and tomatoes.
It's coming back from the field to find a strange kitten crying on the sidewalk. Catching it carefully and bringing it inside for fresh water and food, combing out the mats in its fur and cutting out the burrs. feeling the prominent bones of its spine. Cuddling it for the majority of the day and letting the other kittens you already have teach it where to sleep and where to eat. Watching it join in like it had always been there, and feeling happy that it found a good place where there are many to love it. Naming it Honey, letting it know that it has a home here.
It's harvesting zinnias the night before and coming out to twice as many as the last day. It's watching the sunflowers about to bloom, the gladiolus finally sprouting heads, and the dahlias about to come in heavily laden with blooms the size of your fist. It's carrying your baby through the flower beds and asking which flower is his favorite. He picks an orange calendula and a blue bachelor's button. He rides around his bike and delivers them to you over and over again.
It's sweating and constantly feeling wet, with dirt embedded deep in the cracks of your hands, never knowing that there were so many cracks to fill. It's never feeling clean, never feeling comfortable. It's always feeling exhausted, always feeling like you've accomplished something even if it was the smallest of tasks. It's tying tomatoes to a stake, pulling out weeds that never seem to die, finding a forgotten zucchini under the leaves.
It's sitting under the shade of an apple tree. Watching the kittens wrestle with each other and take short lived naps in the breeze.
It's watching a bumblebee flit heavily from flower to flower, annoyed that you're cutting them, happy to find a sunflower past its prime.
It's living each day with a plan that never seems to happen, yet so filled with things to do that you are never bored. The flavors, the smells, the sights are too good to pass up. It's never being able to capture it all, knowing that you don't have to. It's enough to just live in it.