The worry about money is pretty much constant right now. We have several possibilities for income pending which could help us out quite a lot. But what if they don't come through?
I've been lying awake nights trying to come up with more ideas for boosting the farm income or reducing expenses. Then during the day, my brain is tired and foggy from lack of sleep. It's not a good situation.
At times like this, I try to stop and appreciate all the reasons why I chose this life, all the beauty and small miracles that surround me here every day.
A few nights ago, we had a tremendous thunderstorm. Because the farm sits up on a hill, we tend to get some pretty spectacular weather here. But that night, it was a little scary. Ken and I had just stepped out onto the front porch to see the rain when big--and I mean BIG--bolts of lightning started crashing all around, very close to us.
It was dark out, and raining so hard, we could barely see anything, but through the storm we glimpsed several flashes of white as the horses in the front pasture spooked and started running like mad toward the big pasture.
Normally, I would have gone out to check on them to make sure they were okay, but at the time I was honestly concerned that if either Ken or I went out there, we might really be struck by lightning.
The storm passed during the night, and the next morning dawned bright and sunny. I put on my shoes and headed out to check on the horses.
They weren't clustered around the hay feeder in the front pasture as usual. They were nowhere to be seen in the big pasture. I checked to make sure all the gates were still closed and latched. No, the horses hadn't gotten out. They must be hiding down in the woods.
Typical farm "mom" that I am, I of course started worrying. Were they okay? Had they been struck by lightning during the storm and killed? Had they panicked in the dark, crashed into something and hurt themselves? Where were they?
As I walked down the field towards the woods, suddenly out of the wall of green cedars a horse emerged, then another and another, moving with the slow, methodical elegance of dinosaurs. Their rippling hides were a mosaic of bay, black, palomino, chestnut, buckskin, gray, and white. Blinding against the green grass and cedar needles, they took my breath away.
Char, Scylla, Maggie, Torchsong, Callisto, Shane... With half my brain I counted them off until I saw that all 14 were there, all 14 were fine, but all the while the other half of my brain lingered, transfixed by the amazing beauty of these animals who grace my life.
The horses, unaware of my gaze, cropped the grass for a few more moments, then one by one faded back into the cedar woods and vanished from sight.