I don't know what it is about Sunday morning chores, but it seems they always remind me of how lucky I am to be involved in agriculture and to live in the Flint Hills. Often they are a reminder that religious experiences are not only reserved for churches. This morning was no exception.
The morning dawned crystal clear, chilly but not uncomfortable and the wind that was fierce yesterday was under control. The sky was that brilliant blue you see in the Flint Hills in the fall. The light wind rustled the leaves in the yard and the air smelled clean and fresh.
I fed the animals. They are settled into the pens that they will spend the winter in. There is something comfortable in knowing that you are prepared for the on-coming winter. The sheep and cattle in the barnyard were fed quickly, allowing me a quick moment to enjoy them being content. I looked up into the hills surrounding the house at the trees with their orange and yellow leaves mixed into the golden native grass.
My last choir was to feed the cows. I pulled into the pasture to unroll a bale and they eagerly ran to the pickup. They surrounded the truck as I unrolled the bale and quickly started eating at the ribbon of hay left in the wake. I paused for a second and watched a flock of turkeys hurry off the meadow, anxiously looking back at me and my bovine followers. On the far hill four deer meandered along the trail heading back from a night on the neighbor's corn field.
Right then and there I was again reminded that I am blessed to live in the Flint Hills and farm and ranch. That is why I spend all my free-time and weekends working the land and growing food. This is also why I constantly try to protect the land around me and treat my animals with the care and respect they need. I realize that I am here by the Grace of God and mornings like this morning serve as a reminder of my blessing.