Some people came home from work and went shopping today. Some caught up on chores, then sat to watch TV. Me, I sprinted through chores to snare some time to work dogs. Then I hitched the trailer and took sheep and dogs to a large hay field to work.
The new growth is just beginning after the first cutting, clover filling between the cut stalks, restoring the rich green. The surrounding forest is an intricate tapestry, dense and detailed, drawing the eye past the leaves, past the graceful trunks, into the dark, where the wild things are. Late evening sun burnishes the domes of the clouds with color like a ripe peach. Varied and buoyant birdsong provides the soundtrack.
I don’t have much time. Each dog gets a short bit of work. My sneakers are saturated from the evening dew. I finish training and load the sheep on the trailer. Reluctant to leave, I let all the dogs out for a gallop. The Border Collies race across the field, so far off they look like birds on the horizon. My old Belgian Dare stays closer these days, enjoying the role of voyeur to the younger dogs’ racing. Low fog follows me across the field, quiet and alive, ghosts of the earth. Time to get home, I walk back to the van and call out into the mist. One by one my dogs appear, tired, content, happy to go home for dinner.
And people think I’m the crazy one.