The expression “stop and smell the roses” takes on new meaning when you live on an urban farm. There’s nothing like having a little farm in the backyard to cause you to stop and think about how lucky you are to be alive.
I have moments when I feel this way, thanks to my wonderful barnyard of animals. Here are just a few incidents that made me stop what I was doing, forget all my problems, and live completely in the moment:
- Seeing 3-year-old Rio stop sniffing around the turnout for something to eat to watch two male house sparrows fighting. As the birds chirped and tussled in a nearby tree, Rio watched with wonder, his ears pricked forward, his eyes filled with questions.
- Watching Nigel sprawl out on the driveway on a sunny morning after eating his breakfast, taking a sun bath. When it gets too hot for him, he slowly does the “sleepy dog walk” back under the patio, cools off and then goes out to sunbathe once again.
- The color of Mr. Mabel’s bright red comb when he is backlit by the sun. The color is so stunning, I can’t stop looking at it.
- A view of one of Milagro’s “sculptures,” made when he stacks his feed bucket and a construction cone on top of a stall mat he has rolled up like a burrito.
- The voice of Mr. Molly crowing as a bright crescent moon and a shimmering Venus come up together over the hill behind my house, just half an hour before the first morning light.
- The gentle sound of my horses softly chewing their breakfast hay as the sun grows higher in the sky, warming the yard.
- The soft nighttime hooting of a great horned owl who lives in the trees a few blocks away.
- The sight of a female Anna’s hummingbird feeding on the flowers of my agave plants, whirring her wings as fast as she can as she flits from one flower cone to another.
When I experience these moments, I can’t help but feel grateful for all I have around me. Sure, I’d like to have a bigger farm and even more critters someday, but for now, it just feels perfect.