Monday delivered another unseasonably cool August daybreak. Walking from the kitchen door across the south lawn, two steaming mugs of perfect coffee in hand, I first noticed the humidity and then alternating pockets of warm and cool air. My eyesight was still blurry and dreamlike, barely awake, so in those stumbly moments, the brackish air around me seemed to manifest blue and pink, puffy handfuls of varying temperatures. It was an illusion, I knew that, but a gorgeous one.
To my left, of course, the sky actually was colorful. Oklahoma sun rises are surpassed in kaleidoscope beauty only by Oklahoma sunsets. Monday was no exception. Blues, pinks, and oranges. Silver and gold.
Later that day, after an easy run and half a day’s work, I walked back through this same space, west this time, downhill toward the shade garden. The sky had lowered and turned a suede gray. Still humid, but the air was stirred up now, all blended into one smooth, mellow flavor. Birds called from every side the way they often do only at dawn. Tree frogs and locusts raised the volume.
Full moon singing.
I spent some time cutting back sunflowers that were damaged from weekend thunderstorms. Thinking the whole time about Jessica turning twenty, I gathered enough for a hefty bouquet, set aside lots of dried seedheads for next year’s garden, and donated the rest to the horses and chickens.
(Besides sunflowers, did you know our horses will also eat arugula? Weirdos.)
Klaus kept me company most of the time, but he was often distracted by Meh splashing in the pond or crickets burrowing in the soft earth. My loyal pup appeared at my side half a dozen times with a muddy snoot and spiky-wet legs, belly, and tail. Little-boy happiness pulsing off of him.
I continued on emptying the raised beds of weeds and bolted leafy greens.
It’s a wonderful full moon task, this garden clean up. Right now is the perfect time for culling dead things, releasing what is damaged, and then letting everything rest. Since Monday I have grabbed an hour or two here and there, cleaning flower beds and working over exhausted vegetable plots, trying to help the farm catch its breath at this special time of the moon phase. Soon we will get another deep drink of rain, and more August heat, so this rest will be put to good use for new growth.
Just like in life, you know?
Wednesday night we drove to nearby Harrah to purchase a few round bales of hay for the bachelors.
Klaus accompanied us and smiled literally the entire time. I swear he puts of a certain kind of heat from his abundant joy. He loves truck rides so much.
When we arrived back at the farm and pulled through the barn to unload, Chanta, Dusty, and Meh thundered uphill and found us pretty quickly. They nibbled at a hay bale that was still wedged in the truck bed while Handsome wrestled, rolled, shoved, and pulleyed the other three behemoths into the barn. (We will eventually invest in a tractor with a hay spike; until then, it’s my husband’s brute strength that keeps things happening around here.)
We later dropped that delicious contraband over near the bonfire pit and deck yard, beneath some oak trees. I walked-rolled the big aluminum hay ring across the farm to encircle the feast.
I love fresh hay. Fragrant, tender, all shades of grassy neutrals and some green threads too. I love massive, dense bales that seem to be concrete blocks wrapped up in a flaky layer of goodness. Being stocked up makes me deeply content.
Early this morning, we took another walk south with perfect coffee in hand. Our Hot Tub Summit ritual continues. The farm was half wet from gentle overnight rain. The clouds were dappled, this daybreak as colorful as Monday’s but much warmer. The horses were standing at the new bale of hay, beneath the oak trees, eating breakfast (which actually appeared to be the end of a midnight snack). Sunlight from the east stabbed right through the steamy darkness and landed on the scene, illuminating all of it. Chanta’s hindquarters especially were glowing. Dusty took a deep breath and folded his legs to lay down. His big head lowered until his chin touched the wet leaves, and he fell asleep. Just as the farm was waking up.
Happiest of Thursdays to you, friends!