The color gray
Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:15 AM
From the moment I first opened my eyes this morning until the evening darkness crept in from the east, the sky was a white-washed gray.
Even though the fire in the wood stove had kept the cabin wonderfully warm overnight, when I got dressed this morning, I thought it best to don a turtleneck. The very first one I reached for was my favorite heather gray.
I knew that I would just be puttering around the farm all day, but I still like to be color-coordinated, so when it came time to head outside to do the morning chores, I pulled my dark gray sweatshirt on over the gray turtleneck. With my thick gray flannel shirt as my outer layer, my outfit was complete.
Once outside, I could not help but notice how the two gray Plymouth Rock hens seemed particularly suited to the gray color of the day. They even seemed to be aware of their specially suited feathering as they led the flock, dashing up the hill, to wait by the feed shed for Greg to
scatter their morning treat of cracked corn. This really was a gray hen kind of day.
As I passed along the line of rabbit hutches, the white Californians sat, as usual, along the back edge of their cages. Not so the gray lop. She was sitting right beside her front door, looking out across the upper field. Her gaze seemed to follow me as I passed by.
Perhaps this was a gray rabbit day as well.
I looked back across the yard toward the cabin. Greg had packed the wood stove tight with logs just before we headed outside. Gray smoke wafted up from the cabin’s chimney and wispily headed north to the edge of the woods before it dissipated into the gray of the day. I knew that the gray smoke signaled the warmth inside the cabin.
But we were not in any rush to return. We decided to go for a walk down along the creek. The gray gravel crunched under our boots as we headed down the hill. We stopped to watch the creek water running cold over alternating dark gray shelf rocks and light gray beds of clay. The water shimmered silver in the gray day.
In time, we headed back up the hill, but I was still in no hurry to head back inside the cabin. I sat down on the front porch swing and kicked back as hard and as far as I could. Then I held my feet up and stayed perfectly still until the swing stopped swinging, all of its own accord. As the swing slowed, and as I passed back and forth through the chilly gray air, it occurred to me that perhaps this was not only a good day for gray skies, gray hens, a gray rabbit, gray smoke wafting up from a warm fire and a gray creek bed washed clean by silver water.
Perhaps this was also a good day to be a gray-haired lady. I brushed a wisp of gray hair back from my forehead as I opened the cabin door. Without a doubt, this beautiful gray day was now well under way.
Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.