It caught me while I moved the animal fencing. In their dwindling days on grass, I give the sheep and goats bigger swaths of pasture at a time. Instead of moving them every three days, as I do in the summer, I move them every other week; walking the little flock in at night for hay and safety from the coyotes.
Last night the coyotes were loud, and near. I stood out on the dark of the porch in my undies and a down jacket barking back at them. They sound manic, as though they've already found a ewe and are devouring her. One of the men working on the barn, asked me if I wanted them gone. No. I do not want them shot. I don't even want them to move on to another farm. I love their eerie yips. They electrify the mid-night farm. I do want them to stay the hell away from my sheep. A friend down in the southern part of the state once told me of coyotes taking down a full sized horse on her hill. When they get hungry...
As I worked the heavens began to empty and what had started out as a warm mist became a veritable shower within minutes. I deliberately set each stake of the sheep fence neither hastening nor slowing my pace. I relished the rain, the mud that grew to cover my hands and legs and undoubtedly my brow. Since Leland's birth it isn't often that I am allowed the humble honor of a working man in a storm.
I love the rain. I love when we haven't seen a drop in weeks and then it arrives with fury. The porosity of the soil can't keep pace. I love existing in it.
I was counting on the downpour continuing for my return to the house. Brave New Mother Returns Home from Farm-work Amidst Downpour to Feed Infant Son. But the rain had stopped by the time I got to our porch, and neither was my son at home, but with Nick talking to the electrician at the barn.
So I came inside, stripped off my wet layers and basked in the racing heart, the red cheeks, the wet hair of a woman who works outdoors.
In the never-ending battle of posting in a timely manner, this was written LAST Thursday. Coincidentally, we have rain again this Thursday, but it is a cold rain, the kind that makes your fingers burn. The above photo was taken today.