The Farm on a Gray Day

There is no wind,
not a trace.
There is no sun,
not even a momentary tease
from behind the clouds.
It is a perfectly splendid gray day.
Not quite cold:
37 degrees at noon—
and not in the least uncomfortable;
just right.
We await storms tonight,
and the prospect of rain,
which we still crave.

Everyone seems calm.
(Well, not Rooster,
as usual; he wants to engage.)
And, come to think of it,
two cats were having an all-out battle
at breakfast. I think Hairy “won,”
though his nose is scratched,
again.
Firewood is on the porch.
Birdseed is out.
Water pans are full;
water hoses disconnected.
The gardens have been put to bed
for the winter;
the rabbits’ lettuce beds covered.
And it feels like everyone’s
calm
now:
speckedly hen and the Leghorn
on their nests;
alpacas finished with their alfalfa;
goats gorging at the big hay bale.

I walk out onto the gray, gravel road,
on this gray day.
It’s a decisive moment.
I don’t go easily into
transition.
I look forward to and love being away from home,
but I hate getting ready to leave home.
I love having people come visit,
I love the company of friends;
but I struggle every time
getting ready for their visits,
letting go the solitude
at the same time
I want it interrupted.
I look forward to the quiet
of winter,
and have no trouble letting go
the crazies of hot summers
but relish the sublime, sunny, cooler, clear days
of autumn.
These last few days have been strange,
discombobulating.
And now, as I enter the gray day,
I realize
we’ve been transitioning.
No wonder I’ve felt at loose ends.
Yet, somehow, today,
I am ready
for this new season;
it is here—
and I can enter it
gladly.

The Neighborhood’s Red-tail Hawk

Walking on the road
in the cold, fresh air
I watch Joe and Maizey
explore the wondrous smells
hidden in the dry prairie grass.
I see the Red-tail Hawk
who lives just south of the hermitage
fly to the top of a tree
and keep an eye on us.
I listen to the Meadowlarks
sing their sunny song.
I take the owl’s view,
pulling my perspective wide
and savoring the various hues of gray
above the horizon,
above the various hues of prairie grass.
It feels so good
to be calm,
glad.