Today’s meditation is about mud. Wet ground, sloppy dirt. Not just topsoil but dirt mixed up with hay, whatever comes out of the south end of horses, sheep and an alpaca. There’s a lot of seemingly dead grass and lots and lots of water. I have posted lots of pretty pictures of sunrises, sunsets, gardens, flowers, peacefully grazing animals and Felix in his alpaca swimming pool.
It suddenly occurred to me that I need to document the other part of my life on the farm. It isn’t always June where the animals are clean, warm and contented. Or that part of life where I am clean, warm and contented. The picture with this essay is out the back window of the cabin, where I sit in the morning to write. Today the sky is gloomy, the inside of the run-in barn looks like a black hole and you can’t tell the difference between mud and manure when you look at the pasture. There is a bright spot where Olivia, the Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog, has arranged the pine shavings outside her dog house to give her a dry pot to lay while she watches over her flock. Given just a little bit of instruction and some raw materials, she is making a big difference on the farm.
I keep coming up with all sorts of creative solutions to get the animals out of the mud. But solutions cost money that I don’t have. And even if they had a barn with chandeliers and knee-deep shavings, the horses would stand out in the rain. Tomorrow we’re supposed to have torrential rain that turns to ice and snow overnight with temperatures in the single digits.
The only cure for my mud-induced despair is May. This isn’t a Pollyanna post where I reassure myself and you that May is indeed coming if I’ll just be patient. Or I find a way to burst into song when I’m up to my ankles in freezing mud.
Today is a day when I hold on to hope, even in the face of the mood swings of meteorology and politics. Today is a day when I light a single candle, keep putting one foot in front of the other and comfort myself with the reality of change. Today’s mud will give way to August’s dust.
In the midst of the mud, I go to the Rock.
I waited and waited and waited for God,
At last, he looked, finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
Pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
To make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
A praise song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.
Psalm 40:1-3 (The Message)
Well, there was a way to learn to sing, after all.
Thanks be to God.