Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holy

My feet crunched softly on the frosted earth this morning, as I went to feed the animals. Overnight, the landscape had turned into a fairy kingdom; iridescent white, overlain with silver glitter. The morning was silent... Save for my bootsteps. I found the goats still huddled down in their warm straw bedding. Pepper was still snoring. The musical sound of fresh hay being thrown into the manger quickly remedied all sleepiness in the girls, and they attacked their breakfast with an unladylike velocity. Squabbles broke out as they jockied to get the best place, and more than once, Heidi resorted to brute force to knock the smaller yearlings out of her way.

 I opened the big door that leads out to pasture, and watched the goats in amusement as they left their breakfast to stare at the white, frosted ground. For some of the goats, this was their first time to see a frost. I can't wait to see how they react to snow... Kiwi's eyes widened in amazement, and her over sized ears stood straight up like a rabbit's. You could see the wheels turning in her head as she tried to figure out why her green grass suddenly turned white and crunchy. After a few minutes, the goat's decided that such a change was not worth their brain power, and they resumed their eating.

I leaned up against the side of the door, feeling the west wind nip my skin, and surveyed the beautiful panorama. I could hear the goats munching their hay, and barn dust tickled my nose. At that perfect moment, the word 'Holy' came to mind... Something about this moment; just being in a warm barn with my goats, a ton of hay stacked neatly behind me, and a frosted ground before me, just seemed like a holy moment...

 To me, barns are holy places. They always have been. It's like being in a church... You lower your voice, and a feeling of reverence and awe overtakes you. You feel the presence of the Almighty One. You look around, and see the Lord's hand of mercy. There is hay in a barn... The rains were held off long enough for the farmer's to bring their crops in. Grasses, grown during the spring, cut during the summer, baled when they are dead and dry, and fed to animals that they might live. Death and life. There are animals there. Cows, goats, sheep, hogs, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, horses... Each one provides something useful. Whether it's eggs, meat, milk, or draft power.

 In a barn, I feel secure. Safe. Blessed. It is a holy place. I certainly wouldn't object to church being held within the walls of a barn. Who could? Wasn't the Christ himself born in a barn? Amongst the dead summer grasses, and the animals for company? No, I have nothing against church services being held in a barn...

I left my barn and headed inside... The sun was beginning to peek out, and I knew the frost would soon be gone. Gone until tomorrow....

2 comments:

Zev said...

I feel similarly, especially walking into very old barns.

Goat Song said...

Yes... Those old, old barns that creak underfoot, and dust has blanketed everything... Ghosts inhabit them... Ghosts of what once occupied their walls before they were abandoned. There are two of those kinds of barns on our neighbor's property, and it's sometimes creepy going inside them. It's so quiet in there...