Sarah listened to the crunch crunch crunch of each step as she walked in the frosted grass. The dark morning seemed to amplify the boisterous noise. The sun wasn’t up yet, and the black silhouettes of the trees against the horizon made a pretty picture, one she often wished she could capture by painting or even a photograph. She did neither for these scenes were all ready captured in a safe place, in her mind, forever.
The quiet neigh sound came from Jim Bob, her aged gelding, as he greeted her at the gate. He knew breakfast was coming. Sue, the shyer one, stood beside him and nodded her head up and down.
“Morning, “ Sarah softly greeted the horses. It seemed rude to talk loudly. She figured they enjoyed the quiet as much as she did. Tossing the contents of the buckets into the trough, she stood back and watched as they jockey around to their spot and began munching on the sweet grain.
Finally she forced her mind to think about the up coming event for the day and just like that, it ruined the morning. It was the day of the farm auction. She felt the familar tightening to her lips and stiffening shoulders. All those horrid feelings about her husband came rushing into her mind. All summed up in one word: death.
Dan’s heart attack was unexpected; his death even more so. The emptiness wouldn’t go away even after a year. The children worried about her. What about Mom and the farm? What should ‘we’ do about the farm? You're not as young as you used to be, Mom They couldn’t let her run the farm. And they were always bringing up the ‘what if’s’…
‘What if’s’. Too many of them. Sarah knew she could do it, do the farming. And she wanted to. How many years has she been a part of this farm as a partner, wife, and mother?
However, the children did have valid points. And the thought of working the fields, baling the hay, cutting the crops without Dan made her tremendously sad.
“Dan, how can I let go of this part of our lives? It’s hard to imagine strangers and neighbors come here today and take our things away. All our farm equipment that we used to make this farm.”
She wandered through the rows and rows of equipment lined up so neat and tidy. The last shred of night shrouded the items, all sizes and shapes of black silhouettes in the field. Every tractor, combine, wagon, all of them told a story, a chapter in their lives, and beginning, middle and, well, now an ending to their life.
Am I doing the right thing? Sarah looked up at the heavenly blue. The stars were fading, their bright twinkle not so bright.
“Dan, I miss you so much. I can’t make these tough decisions by myself. It’s too hard. Am I doing the right thing?” She asked out-loud, uncontrollable tears falling.
A mere hint of the rising sun changed the look of the shrouded tractors, discs, and planters. As with the grass, the frost had covered these pieces with the finest layer of ice. Capturing the first rays of the day, the frozen field basked with a luminescence glow. Sarah stood still in awe of the beauty and then, it was gone. The sun broke the horizon bringing forth more morning light.
For that brief moment she felt the presence of Dan brushing a tear from her cheek. Inhaling deeply, Sarah straightened her shoulders. Today would be painful, but she wouldn’t be alone.
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