It’s boring to talk about December cold in the North Country, but this morning was pretty memorably cold: 2 degrees when I first woke up to feed Cat and have my morning coffee, 4 degrees when I trudged out to the barn to let Bowie out and begin morning chores.
I had the wrong socks on, and my work gloves were still damp from the previous evening’s chores. It was a slog to get hay and water out to the pole barn, and I was not as patient as I could have been in getting the sheep out of the barn.
Hurry, hurry, hurry, I seemed to be saying to all my barn animals, so that I can get back to the warm house for a second cup of steaming hot coffee. Once back inside the farmhouse, coffee in hand, I was ashamed of myself. I could see Bowie by the barn gate, looking puzzled and disappointed that her morning play time with me had been dispensed with altogether. Even the sheep, lined up at the entrance to the pole barn, seemed to be gazing down in disapproval.
I stepped out onto the front porch to catch a glimpse of the valley and the way the morning sun transforms every tree and bush into shimmering glasswork, and took a picture of the cotoneaster at the corner of the yard. Inside, wanting to see if my photograph had captured the beauty of the scene, I saw that I had also caught a bluejay in flight.
Sometimes we try so hard to see what we want to see, that miss what is also there…