Warm winter wind
By CHRISTINE TAILER
The weather had warmed, to the extent that I could sit on the front porch swing without a jacket.
I kicked back and slowly let the swing glide to stillness.
It was dark, and I knew that it was time to prepare dinner, but I felt as though I was in no rush at all.
The odd warmth of the evening made me want to linger.
The cabin’s lights spilled out of the windows across the porch, carving out a small place in the evening’s outside darkness.
I had even left the top half of the cabin’s Dutch door wide open, seemingly bringing the inside of the cabin out onto the porch, as well as letting the outside evening into the cabin, because I was reluctant to let the fire in the wood stove die out.
It occurred to me that it was easier to damp down the stove, and open the top half of the door. This way the cabin could stay at a comfortable, not too roasting, temperature.
It had felt luxurious to swing open the top half of the door to the outside night, and when I stepped onto the porch, and saw the swing inviting me to sit for a while, I sat. I glided easily through the evening air as I looked out across the yard. I listened to the tinkling sound of the curiously warm winter breeze blowing through my wine bottle wind chimes.
As my swing slowed, I waited for the wind to pierce through my thin layer of clothing and bring a shiver to my bones, but it did not. It just seemed to wrap me in its odd warmth.
I could see the solar light atop the chicken coop glowing softly from across the yard.
My birds were all safely inside, having returned early after their first day of foraging without the need to scratch and peck through several inches of snow.
I knew that tomorrow’s eggs would most probably be muddy.
I could see what looked like goat ghosts, or shadow figures, over in the goat yard.
Several stood wraith like up on the hill behind their goat condos, but one lay on the roof of the closest goat shelter.
I imagined the warm winter wind blowing through her beard, just as it was blowing across my face.
I looked up at the darkening sky overhead. It was oddly streaked with fleeting clouds that stretched across the creek valley from one side to the other.
The clouds reminded me of a chalkboard eraser, wiping away the few stars that were shining in the night sky.
I was entertained for a while keeping my eye on a star, watching as it vanished behind a cloud, and then trying to see if it would reappear. I do not know if I was ever able to find the same star again, because my familiar constellations were so minimal and cloud washed.
Time passed and the wind picked up, and finally I did feel its chill begin to pass through my clothing. I was still in no hurry to move. I lingered until the bite of the wind really did become uncomfortable.
I stood up and walked across the deck toward the wood shed. It had grown quite dark out, but when I glanced over at the goats, I was able to make out the form of the rooftop goat as she jumped down from her perch.
I imagined her comfortably bedding down on her straw covered floor. I returned to the cabin and placed a few more logs on the fire. It was time to close the top half of the Dutch door ... and prepare some dinner.
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.