I went with her today, she insisted – her and the dog, and as they galloped off down the field happily I was struck anew at the quiet beauty of the place, and the immense joy of seeing her run free in the beautiful fields. She belongs to the land. I see that now.
I looked across at the farm house in the distance and the way the rich, green land rolled across my horizon. The air was sharp and I shivered excitedly thinking ahead to the days soon that I would see it covered with a blanket of white snow – automatically huddling into my jacket in mock anticipation. I stopped and turned around the way I had come. The shadows had lengthened, leaving only small slivers of watery sunlight. Wisps of smoke filtered lazily from the cosy houses beyond the field and up our street, leaving behind the acrid smell of peat which filled my senses, and for a moment I stood lost in another time.
I wandered down to the streams where the dog was prancing happily about in the freezing water, pretending to catch fish while she sat contentedly him from her seat on the banks. I watched silently as the final rays of amber sunlight melted beyond the hills and noticed how the water changed to a rich, dark brown. After a while, I made to go, but then the girl said they would stay. “I like it here,” she said happily, so I left them there; the girl and the dog, and strolled back to the sound of the icy stream gurgling along beside me.
The smell of sheep and their leavings permeated the cold air around me and as I tramped back up the field I saw that misty darkness was shifting across the land. I saw only the darkened outline of the cosy houses beyond the field now; their windows amber-filled from soft lights and burning fireplaces and as I trudged through the damp field, the smell of home cooking wafted lazily about, I gave thanks to God for this day.