While nibbling on the crust of a homemade cheese sandwich, I keep driving in drizzle until reaching the gravel road of the farm.
I’m on a lunch break from my job at a school and there’s no better place for me to relax and dine than in the country.
Eyeing the familiar jersey cows on the green rolling hills, I smile. The farm isn’t mine so I’ll find no chores for me to do this day.
I often walk these fields for miles, even in the rain, always leaving with a sunnier disposition.
Though today, I head straight to the barn.
Or maybe I should call it a maternity ward.
I missed the birth of the first nine piglets earlier this morning, but I’m just in time for the birth of the tenth.
I kneel with respect and amazement on beds of hay as I whisper sweet nothings into the sweet sow’s ear.
Wearily she keeps on working afterwards, feeding her tribe.
Chilled, I eventually rise to seek warmth from heat lamps comforting the baby lambs nearby. I sit down again and feel my blood pressure sink to the cement floor as I finish my cheese sandwich.
For a moment, I close my eyes.
I reflect on my lunches before retiring from a corporate job in the city six months ago.
Back then I’d walk a maze of skyways over honking, busy streets at noon. I’d then quickly grab Mexican fast food for fuel to take back to my desk so I could keep on working.
Yes, my life is quite different now.
I’ve discovered the miracle of birth is much more appealing than a bulging burrito anyday.
I open my eyes and glance down at my watch.
It’s time to leave.
Briefly I check in with the chirping baby chicks on my way out.
And then I return to Mama Pig and the piglets to wish them well.
Pushing open the heavy barn door after, I glance at the greenhouse to my left where vegetable seedlings have optimistically been planted.
I find myself feeling optimistic as well.
Quickly, I revise in my mind the tired Easter menu I was planning from a glazed ham to a fresh vegetarian quiche.
As I drive off, the sun suddenly makes a shining appearance above the hills.
And I catch myself humming, ‘oh, what a beautiful morning’ at the sight.
How can I not?