Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Favorite Season

I love autumn.  I love the scents - wood smoke, decaying leaves, moisture.  I love the sense of slowing down - our work slows, the world seems to slow.  I love the variety - sunny and comfortably warm one day, cold and wet the next.  I've always enjoyed change, and the transition from summer to winter is particularly wonderful.

Today's time change allowed me to sleep in without feeling especially guilty - I slept for nearly 10 hours last night, but I still got up by 7 a.m.!  My sister and her youngest daughter were visiting, and we had the most enjoyable and relaxing morning with them.  At mid-day, we drove to one of our leased ranches and cut firewood for several hours.  I then moved a group of sheep, fed the guard dogs, and herded one of our breeding groups back to our back pasture (they'd been grazing some grass for a neighbor who is selling their father's home).  Daylight ended with our chores at home and with splitting kindling for the next week.

Part of what I love about my work is that I can see my accomplishments at the end of most days - unlike the office jobs I've had.  Autumn represents the annual opportunity to observe these accomplishments.  Our lambs are finished and sold, our woodshed and barn (hopefully) are full of wood and hay (respectively).  Autumn, for a sheep farmer, is also a season of expectation.  Our ewes are with the rams - in preparation for next year's lamb crop.  Finally, autumn is the beginning of our rest - the decreasing daylight hours mean we can't work quite as long.  In many ways, autumn is a three-month sigh of relief!

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