A mythical quality permeates our village each morning now as summer shakes hands with fall. Thick fog rolls up the street like a scene from a Stephen King novel. Magical or ominous depending on the mood in which you view it.
Traveling through the village in the early hours is like standing near a mist machine employed by fancy restaurants in warmer climes. Tiny droplets of dew swirl in the air, glinting in the rising sunlight, splashing your skin, dampening your hair, clothes and all the plants and flowers standing at attention in whatever weak sunlight filters down through the inevitable morning fog.
Farm animals rustle to life, the low guttural hum of cows housed in barns outlining the main thoroughfare, the soft whinny of horses quietly clopping onto pastures for a bite of grass and that archetype of country living; the rooster squawking out his classic morning greeting.
While the moon hovered above darkened fields of sweet corn the spiders busily weaved webs that now glisten with dew. Pearl necklaces, nature's jewelry, a dazzling display shimmering in the watery morning light, giving Charlotte and her world-famous webs a run for the money.
If I manage to heed the demand of my 6am alarm and get my Babble writing done before the kids wake up I try to take Henry for a walk around the neighborhood after dropping Violet at the Y. The sun usually takes its time burning off the morning fog, it often lingers well into the day so the walk always feels magical. As if Henry and I and whatever animals we happen upon are the only living creatures on Earth. Like this.
That lone cow up there. She's a mama cow that lives on a nearby farm, just down this dirt road.
She has captured my heart, I think.
The first time Henry and I happened by she was resting under a tree while her babies grazed near the fence where we stopped to watch. She was immediately highly suspicious of our motivations and so begrudgingly heaved her tired body up to a standing position and hustled our way in much the same way I exasperatedly bear down on my own baby should he wander toward possible danger - and he seemingly has a radar for it. Then she stood like a statue, a bovine goddess mama stoically staring me down, guarding her babies as every good mother should. Don't mess with my babies, she eyeballed at me.
I tried to telegraph back to her that I totally understood and was only interested in watching her adorable babes and could I interest her in a bite of grass for her trouble? So far, she has resisted the temptation even after I threw in a few pitiful attempts at mooing. Maybe next time I can assuage her suspicion with a tasty carrot or apple...
I am often acutely aware of how happy I am to live here. It is a thought or an emotion that occurs to me on a near daily basis. The joy of living where I want to be, finally. To abide in the great wide open. To stroll with my kids through a tiny, quaint village settled in the early 1800s that we call home. To not be bothered to negotiate sidewalk space with a hustling, bustling, faceless crowd or to not be assaulted by an endless stretch of identical suburban homes. To say hello to an assortment of animal friends each mystical morning. To breathe in fresh air and watch thunderstorms whip the valley into an exuberant frenzy from the comfortable safety of our big, old porch. It's a contentment unlike any I've known, ever.
This is where I want to be.