The winter months had not given me the same feeling, although I had many sweet moments tending to the horses in the barn in the bitter cold. The" boys" are currently off the property, as our haflinger gets some much-needed groundwork and basic riding training. I miss them so much...their trots to the gate when I walk out...their morning greetings when I feed them in the early morning hours.
For now, I am concentrating on "spring cleaning" inside and out. There are rock gardens and borders buried, with just the heads of the rocks struggling to be seen. Plans to dig them out and reveal their beauty and function are forthcoming. Fences need both repairing and a fresh coat of paint - and so we also contemplate moving the fence lines in the process. Weed killer needs to be sprayed, decks power washed, and flower beds thinned so the bright yellow daffodils (another find) can flourish.
The kids have also been enjoying the property. My oldest has ridden his bike up, out, in, over and around the grass and hills, conditioning his body for his pending 200 mile bike trip this summer. The younger ones have created a "nature club" which meets under the pine trees in the front and one of their club "tasks" is to seek out trash and recyclables in the grass. My husband has repaired the barn door where the previous owner had obviously missed the opening with the tractor (oops!).
All this makes me happy. Work to be done makes me happy. Watching my family outside makes me happy. But I have purposefully paused to enjoy the warm evenings gifted to us so early in the season this year.
Last night I had the rare opportunity to enjoy an evening with my niece. We sat outside on the deck as the sun went down and laughed so hard we cried. We tested out the echo between the house and barn, discussing the challenges of extended family producing music on the property for a certain upcoming important Sunday. This increased my happiness as I experienced flashes of future gatherings....snap shots in my head that have not yet been taken, but already experienced.
I'm in awe of the year already since it's only the middle of March! A neighbor came by this week when she saw us outside - introduced herself and invited us to come see her horses and property just down the street. Moments later, she returned with two dozen fresh eggs from her chickens. Both a gift and an outreach, of which I am thankful and happy to receive. Neighborly kindness is not a thing of the past.
So I finally come to my lesson of the month (since this blog is really about my lessons on the property). Hard work and an attitude of discovery can unveil happy feelings and hidden treasures. Approach each day with expectancy. Expect surprises and treasures, but be ready to work for them. For the hard work makes the joy even sweeter.