Some people have neighbors who own dogs. Our neighbors own cows.
My husband has named the two cows who graze in the field behind our house, so let me introduce you to Jack and Jill. I'm not sure which is which, but being that Jack and Jill aren't their real names, the designation matters very little.
When we moved into our house seven years ago, three horses grazed in the same field where Jack and Jill now graze. I had watched these horses closely, and after a few weeks I named them Strider, Gandalf, and Smoke. (When I finally learned their real names -- one of which I think was Annabelle -- I was sorely disappointed. Much less epic.)
At any rate, I've always loved the view from my backyard. We look up a mountain, with acres of farmland and protected forest sprawling forth.
I'm struck by how we can drink in beauty, just like we drink water. How we need beauty, how it slakes a thirst in our hearts.
We walk though our gardens, admiring God's intricate handiwork.
I look at the perfectly imperfect details -- a spider's web covering a rusty ornament that has seen the heat and rain of many summers -- and feel a quiet satisfaction. These are the details that would have caught my eye as a child: this bell, this web, this little treasure planted in the garden.
My heart is full as I stand on our little plot of ground, and I know that summer will unfold from here. There will be picnics and slip-and-sliding, lightining bugs and time in the sand box, scraped knees and sweaty heads, sunscreen and freezer pops, bug bites and crankiness from bored kids, marshmallows toasted over the fire pit and the smell of cut grass.
A kalediscope of imperfect details will blur over the next months before we descend into autumn, just waiting for us to notice and drink in their beauty.
And summer begins.