Our four-year-old grandson does his part to herd the cattle down the road by waving his cap in order to encourage them along. His dad takes a bit more active approach as he runs along behind the critters!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blessings Behind and Before

Classes began today at the little elementary school where I worked and taught for 25 years. This is the first "first day" in nearly half my lifetime that my very heartbeat has not been intertwined with the pulse of the classroom.  This year I didn't decorate a bulletin board, fill out a first day plan, or suffer that wonderful combination of anxiety and anticipation that causes teachers to toss and turn the night before the first day of school.  I slept soundly last night.  

I was a little bit afraid that grief  would stage a sneak attack, and so did not want to be alone this morning.  I nearly ran to the pickup and hopped in with Farmer John.  I've learned it's almost impossible to feel depression or grief when you are riding in a pickup with the windows rolled down (if it is hay fever season you might feel allergy symptoms, but you won't be depressed about it). 

While John fed cattle I walked through the pasture and took some photos, breathing in a peace that I could almost taste.  I stood for a few moments in a field of sunflowers, and shot several seconds of video in an attempt to share their soothing dance:
I love "rear view mirror" photos, and this one seemed especially significant because the sky ahead is a little bit bluer and clearer than the clouds behind (Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind; see quote below).  

We finished our morning circuit of checking cattle and when John pulled into a pasture just down the road from our house, I hopped out and walked home. The temperature had risen to near 90, and the sun was hot at my back.  I was very happy to see my dear old yellow farmhouse appear before me as I cleared the windbreak east of our house.  
I'm glad to be back home on the farm.  

"For I know the the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

"LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;  you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance" (Psalm 16:5-6).  

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