We slept so late. More than nine hours in bed. Our smooth new slate-colored sheets must have chamomile leaves woven into the cotton.
We creep outside well past daybreak. The morning is warm and absent of any breeze but overcast, as gray as our magical sleeping sheets. Perfect coffees in hand and one hundred-pound puppy bouncing around our ankles, we start the day already simmering in affection and buffered by safety. Hot Tub Summit. We plan our day.
An hour later we are outside again, this time dressed and sitting at a round metal table next to the barn, facing downhill. We are still wrapped by the warm woolly air, no technicolor sunrise today. Our four-leggeds eat their breakfast contentedly. So fat and beautiful. Hens tease roosters, darting seductively across the middle field, scratching at horse manure, chuckling in the dormant flower garden. The birdsong is exceptional. We hear and scout for cardinals, blue jays, doves, and woodpeckers. Then it happens.
Out of the southwest corner of the farm, a dense flock of blackbirds, half as wide as our property and trailing twice that length, swoops up over the sand hills, maybe from the forest or maybe beyond, and speeds across the farm. They are too high to touch but low enough to force the air down in whooshes with their energetic flight. The birds are massed together into one quilted black flying carpet, undulating and speeding between the sky and the earth, slicing through the moment.
They race toward one tree with one purpose and land on an oak just past my husband’s car shop. Its branches dip and dance from the burden. Every twig now is dotted with a round black bird, the whole mass still twittering and vibrating. Handsome takes photos of the spectacle.
When they eventually hush, the regular birdsong resumes. I cannot tell whether the cardinals, blue jays, doves and woodpeckers were quiet during this stunning display or just out-sung. Either way, the heartbeat of the farm returns to normal.
Chickens laughing again and roosters crowing on every side. Geese preening with soft honks down by the pond. Horses snuffling and bison knocking around a fallen tree with his massive horns.
I have one more cup of perfect coffee to sip before deciding between work and play. But on days like this, when the magic here is so thick, it’s hard to know the difference.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends
Enjoy some magic