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Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Middle of May and five layers still when I walk Dusty. Vest, t-shirt, sweater, fleece and windbreaker, plus a woolly hat pulled down over my ears. Gloved hands jammed into my pockets for extra warmth.

Amongst the tired green of the evergreens in the forest, the new growth on larch and beech is fresh and beautiful. Above the forest soars a bird of prey. Echoing through the woods I hear the tap-tapping of the woodpeckers, and the occasional crazy call of the cuckoo.

I round the corner and the wind blasts me in the face and I jam my hands down more firmly, muttering something grumpy. I find myself praying that the Lord would send a warmer sun and divert this biting wind. 

Dusty is happy, trotting ahead and sniffing the air greedily.

We round another corner and there is the wild and restless mooing of cows and calves. I see the farmer’s tractor, a bale of hay stabbed onto its upturned prong, stopped near the field and wonder if the herd is being moved. Dare I continue my walk, or will we find ourselves in the middle of a stampede?

Walking on, I see the herd is clustered at the gate, mooing their dissatisfaction. We rejoin the road and head for home, and soon the farmer overtakes us. Shutting off the tractor’s engine, he stops for a wee ‘news’. 

Yes, the cows are impatient for grass. And in this cold weather, the grass just isn’t growing. (Why did I have to cut ours yesterday, then, I wonder? Maybe I should have invited the cows in...) So he’s having to give them hay, which he’d hoped to hold on to awhile longer for some reason.

I shiver. Another car comes; the tractor starts up and the farmer moves on, and so do we. The house is back in sight, with its tree-lined drive. Each tree is now bursting out in its spring finery. The colours are lovely. 

I am so easily distracted by the cold wind, and lose sight of the bigger picture. To God I probably sound like one of those miserable cows. Yucks. May I retain focus on what is important today, Lord, expecting to see you work in wonderful ways.

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