Rhythm of the Homestead

The climbing roses have really taken off, filling the ancient, sour apple tree with sweet, dark roses. Tucked in the center, tiny pink roses make their way heavenward, too small to see unless you take the risk and part the thorny veil. The scents are deep and heady, filling the air with a fragrance lost to most modern roses. I will take old-fashioned every time.

The steady gargle of chicken conversation greets me, complaints mostly, that I don’t move fast enough to let them out of the coop, to refill their feed troughs, to put out some corn, and where are their treats today? But I move at the rhythm of the homestead and this morning it tells me there is no need to rush, to take my time and enjoy what late spring has sent bursting to the surface.

My hands smell of citrus as I harvest the leaves of the lemon balm plant and make my way to the soothing quiet of the rabbit shed. Eager rabbits stand up to greet me, wondering which one of them I will feed first. After a cursory glance to see which dishes are empty I start in the order of who has the least or none left. No one thinks this is fair except the ones without a pellet in their bowls. I sniff deeply of the fresh, local hay that smells so much better than any hay I’ve given them before, then tuck it into their mangers. Somehow Phoebe has managed to unhook her manger from the wall and it dangles from the ceiling of her cage. I don’t even try to explain how she managed that. Water bottles are refreshed and I sink down into a chair to watch them for a few moments, the little kits buried nose deep in the hay munching happily alongside Mama Piper.

Eventually I move on, looking first at the grapes that need tying back desperately. There are flowers. Will they bring fruit this fall? The blueberry bushes are loaded with tiny green fruits that in late July or August will produce the best blueberries I have ever eaten. The raspberries are fat and will ripen by months end. The blackberries are loaded with blossoms, a haven to happy, humming bees. The prunes and apples show tiny fruits. It will be a good season.

The heartbeat of the land slowly fades away as I enter the house. My mind moves ahead to what needs to be done today. Homeschool lessons. Physical therapy appointment. Paying bills as it’s payday and updating my financial spreadsheets when I do. A bit of grocery shopping at a nearby farm stand. Life intrudes, but my evening will end with another walk around the place, and the peace of the roses.

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