Walking into the animal farm and pumpkin patch, it’s a sanctuary of earth and fur, dirt and feathers. I feel Christmas bubbling up in my heart as it did when I was a little girl, an invasion of joy as I haven’t experienced in months. Each time I’m in the company of animals, I notice my heart lifts off the ground, swelling until nearly bursting. My eyes, warm and blazing, two stars lighting up my face. I feel alive.
I’m in a dance on this farm, my feet caught between desire to move on to the next sight and rooted to the spot in the dirt where I stand and gaze with longing. I move from crazy, bedhead Silkies to turquoise peacocks and brown peahens with emerald chests. From ducks vying for the feed in our dixie cups to black pigs with fleshy snouts. In a stall, I stoop and with one finger stroke gentle lines across the fuzzy yellow backs of ducklings hatched last week. We huddle near, peering into an incubator where tiny beaks poke through egg shells like telescopes surveying the outside world, unhurried explorers.
But it’s here, with the goats, where I enter in and rest. A mama and two babies are curled up together in a corner of the pen. I crouch low, find a seat in the hay beside them, and stroke one of the babies’ faces. The baby moves closer, leaning in, until her face rests on my shoulder and my head rests on hers. The scent of animal and earth, the warmth of this small head, this innocent gesture of trust, I wish to freeze this moment. I could sit here, with her, all the day long.
And maybe, I’ll taste that vision of home here, in this life. Or maybe, there’s a farm awaiting me on the other side of eternity.
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