When dinner has long since been eaten and dishes are cleared away. When the babe is laid down to sleep and it’s still light enough to read a book or potter in the garden beds or trace the lines of a fallen tree. We head out for a walk in the open. We greet dusk with nimble steps. We jump over puddles on the earthen road, slowly drying up.
We stop by the dairy herd and far off across the landscape we see the steers, all contented on green grass, chewing cud. Next we check on the broiler chickens madly scratching their grassy bare-footed enclosure. Then we make for the pasture…
The grass has been freshly cut for hay and stretching out across the fields are windrows of drying stalks. I take my shoes off and feel a portion of it with my soles. Dry, faintly warm and crunchy. Every so often we come across a round mass of thick grass, still damp underneath. A remembrance of what was once there… A mobile hen house and its five-hundred or more residents, gifting the ground below with scratch and poo – the grass growing bigger, richer accordingly. I am reminded of the season, the cycle of things here. The many faces of the landscape; the creature that provides for us so well, provides for the land that provides for other creatures. Begin again. Because this pasture is managed intentionally, organically – we have lush grass for grazing, long grass for hay which nourishes the cows in the winter months, hay for the hens laying boxes. eggs for our breakfast. meat and milk for our savouring. organic matter for the grass, fodder for the worms underfoot, cover for the grasshoppers, beetles and tiny marching ants.
We walk, hop, jump and skip over the soon to be hay. We lie down and make angels. We try to outrun our furry friend. We capture with lens and breathy abandon.
Night closes around us and we make for home. The horizon is shadowed with indigo clouds, laced with terracotta underthings. Far off lights of the nearby town. The red buzz glow in the direction of the big city. The rocky outcrop of mount macedon. Ahead I see my lover, hands full of dried grass, how handsome he is the half light, worked hands, gentle heart.
I love how summer turns us into dusk explorers.